Owning a vehicle requires being a responsible driver. Once you become a road user, your actions begin to directly impact other people’s lives as well as your own and do not think it’s an overstatement. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents, so it is vital to understand that driving without due care and attention isn’t an option.
If you want to ensure your own safety and the safety of people around you, you need to know which of your actions behind the wheel may lead to accidents and stop practising them. In this article, you will find a list of 7 most common causes of distracted driving, ranging from using your cell phone and adjusting a radio or climate controls to grooming, eating, and dreaming, among other things. Read on and stay safe!
Using Cell Phones
Talking on a cell phone while driving is one of the most common causes of distracted driving. You may think that using your cell phone behind the wheel is no big deal, as many people do it, but in reality, it can lead to fatal accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that at any moment, nearly 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. This number is quite alarming, especially considering the fact that using cell phones while driving is considered one of the most dangerous behaviors behind the wheel.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use your cell phone while driving, remember that you can always pull over if it’s safe to do so or wait until a more appropriate time for making a call.
Adjusting Radio or Climate Controls
Adjusting any controls, including climate and radio controls, is a dangerous behavior and should be avoided while driving. The reason why you shouldn’t do that is pretty simple – when you turn your attention away from the road to another task, you are putting yourself and other people at risk of getting into an accident.
Grooming and Eating While Driving
Grooming and eating behind the wheel are two things you should never do while driving. These activities may seem harmless to you but they can lead to serious consequences, especially if you are not paying attention to what you are doing. Yes, it may be inconvenient to stop for a moment so you eat or go through all the steps of applying makeup. However, it is much safer than getting involved in a serious car accident.
Daydreaming When Driving
Daydreaming is not only distracting but also risky because it makes you lose your attention from the road. People often daydream while driving as they get bored with the monotony of long drive and this leads to dangerous situations on the road. If you start daydreaming while driving, try to avoid this kind of behavior. Keep yourself entertained with some music or talk to your passenger rather than drifting off with your thoughts.
Responding to Text Messages While Driving
Text messaging is another common cause of distracted driving. As you know, texting while driving and using a cell phone behind the wheel is prohibited in many countries so keep this in mind when you are driving. If the message is urgent, it is advised to make a stop, then reply to the message. And don’t forget to inform the recipient that you will be unavailable until you reach your destination.
Adjusting Your GPS System While Driving
Many people like the convenience of having a GPS system in their vehicles. Unfortunately, this system may distract them from the road and cause an accident. It’s best to use your GPS system when you arrive at your destination and park your vehicle safely and then use it to determine directions to your final destination.
Staring At Objects In Motion While Driving
Staring at objects in motion such as animals crossing the road or other moving objects may seem like a harmless behavior, but it is actually quite distracting for drivers and can lead to fatal car accidents. When you stare at objects in motion while driving, make sure that you don’t focus on them too long and don’t follow them too closely either. It will lead to a very dangerous situation on the road for both you and other drivers around you. It’s better to avoid looking at objects as they move across your field of vision for maximum safety of both yourself and other people on the road.
Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. If you are a driver, make sure that you avoid these behaviors as much as possible to ensure your own safety and the safety of people around you. Remember to plan ahead, so you wouldn’t need to do various tasks on the road. And always pull over to the side in case you need to answer a call, reply on a text message or have a snack.