When you are driving, it is important to be aware of how dangerous it potentially is. After all, you are in a several-ton vehicle, essentially being hurdled at high speeds. This is not inherently dangerous, so long as you are following the “rules of the road,” but one single mistake could be enough to create a fatal incident. When it comes to determining the most dangerous things to do while driving, some of the most common ways to lead to car accident claims include speeding, bad weather, and driving while under the influence. However, the number one cause of car accidents is distracted driving. To help reduce the occurrence of distracted driving, we have these five tips to avoid it.
5 tips to avoid distracted driving
The first thing you need to do to avoid distracted driving is to prepare in advance. For example, be prepared to stay on the same station during the entire drive if possible, as fiddling with the radio station can pull your attention away from the road just long enough for a car accident to occur. This can potentially be unavoidable, unfortunately, given that if you are going on a long trip, it may be unavoidable, since the radio station may go out once you get out of range of the station. At this point you should absolutely make sure to pull over, so you can adjust the station whenever possible to do so. As an alternative, you can download some podcasts, audiobooks, or other audio content to your phone and simply play that instead, accounting for how long you will be driving.
Very important is that whenever you plan on driving, that you are well-rested. Falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous and has a solid likelihood of resulting in something bad. You may only be alarmed in the best-case scenario (and certainly feeling more awake by the incident), but in worst-case scenarios, you or someone else could meet an untimely demise. Just, don’t push yourself. Also make sure that you have eaten and drank something before you begin your trip, thereby reducing the number of times you need to eat or drink during the drive. If you need to refuel at any point, pull over at your nearest convenience if possible, to do so. Of course, when it comes to consuming things, the last thing you want to do is consume any controlled substances and/or alcohol. Obviously, these create a huge distraction, just by virtue of the fact that it lowers both your inhibitions and your reaction time.
One of the most obvious tips to avoid distracted driving is to never, ever, ever use your cellphone. It does not matter if you are looking at your phone while you are driving or if you are talking on it, both serve to distract you while on the road. Even if you are using a hands-free setup with your cellphone, it still counts as distracted driving. While it is safer to talk to people hands-free, it is still more dangerous than not talking to someone on the phone at all. There are minor risks to talking to a passenger while driving, but the difference between talking to someone hands-free on the phone and talking to someone in the passenger seat is that they have the awareness of what is happening on the road that the person on the phone does not have.
As such, if there is a difficult driving situation or a lot of traffic, they can make the decision to be quieter in order to avoid causing you any distraction. The obviously more distracting thing is to be texting while driving; not only do you have to free up a hand in order to text someone (some people even free up two hands, which is absolutely ridiculous), you also have to put your concentration in seeing what is happening on the phone as well as thinking about how you should respond to what people are saying. If you EVER need to text while driving, you should always, 100 percent, pull over to the side of the road so that you may do so safely.
Speaking of pulling over, when you see someone who has pulled over, either due to an accident or if they were pulled over by police, or heck, for any reason, do not rubberneck. Keep your eyes on the road and move on from the pulled-over car. There may be situations where you may need to assist, such as if a vehicle is in a ditch, needs a jump, etc., but otherwise, mind your business, basically. Rubbernecking at an accident is a great way for another accident to happen.
Another excellent tip is that you should avoid driving in inclement weather if at all possible. Snowy, foggy, rainy, windy, all of these weather types can make it so much harder to control your vehicle and make distracted driving that much more likely to mess you or someone else up. If you must do so, make sure that you have necessary supplies in case an accident leaves you stranded, and make sure that you take the conditions very seriously.