We’ve all been guilty of some form of distracted driving at some point and you’ll spot unfocused drivers everywhere you look, from the person changing their radio station to the driver checking their hair in the mirror or the person eating while they drive.
But distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and could lead to a horrible accident, posing a risk not just to you but others on the road. So we spoke to the team at 1800 injured to get some of their expert tips on how to avoid dangerous distractions whilst driving.
Put Your Phone Away
It is all too easy to pick up your phone when you hear it ringing or when a notification bell goes off, but even a quick glance can be a dangerous distraction. Remove the temptation by putting it out of sight while you’re driving, such as in your bag or in the glove compartment and putting it on ‘do not disturb’ mode.
When you’re behind the wheel, your sole focus should be driving, so attempting to do anything else could be a potential hazard. This means eating, drinking or switching the song on your stereo, or anything else that takes your attention away from the road. Even if you’re an experienced driver, multi-tasking is a distraction that can lead to an accident.
Leave Work at the Office
Responding to texts or taking calls from colleagues or clients can be really dangerous. Speak to your employer and establish a distracted driving policy so that they don’t speak to employees until they’re parked, so as not to pose a risk.
Keep Children and Pets Secure
Kids and pets can be a big distraction in the car, from shouting and asking questions to barking or trying to get in the front seat to be with you. Make sure that they are securely fastened into proper car seats or behind pet-friendly cages so that they’re not roaming around the car. This will not only keep them safe while the car is moving but will also reduce the distraction of wondering what they’re up to.
Plan Your Route in Advance
There’s nothing more distracting than trying to find your way around a new location, whether it’s trying to read a map at the same time as road signs or trying to program your sat nav while you’re on the go. It’s much better to plan your route in advance and if you need advice, pull over and check your directions safely. Alternatively, if you’re travelling with other people in the car, ask them to navigate so you can focus properly.
Don’t Reach for Things
Resist the temptation to reach for things that are just out of reach, whether it’s something in the glove compartment or an item that falls while you’re driving. Taking your eyes off the road to search for it could lead to an accident, even if it’s just for a second, and it isn’t worth the risk – simply wait until you’ve stopped to check for the item.
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