People often view distracted driving as being related to cell phones, the CD player, or eating a pizza on the go. However, there are many distractions you may not even think about that interfere with your ability to drive safely. As a general rule, any activity that causes you to take your eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel is a distraction. While keeping your phone in the back seat is a great place to start, eliminating these other dangerous distractions will keep you and your passengers safe.
Smoking and Vaping
There are tons of health reasons for why you should quit smoking, but if you insist on doing so, then please don’t do it in the car. Lighting a cigarette, flicking ashes, and putting it out all require you to take your attention off the road. Although vaping might not result in a dropped lit cigarette, other mishaps using one while driving can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Dog lovers enjoy nothing more than having their best buddy at their side in the passenger seat. Unfortunately, a dog jumping onto the driver’s floor board or bounding toward an open window can lead to an accident. A Rosengren Kohlmeyer personal injury lawyer recommends keeping pets in a carrier or using a special animal harness to keep them buckled in place.
Changing Vehicle Controls
Sometimes distractions while driving are disguised as safety measures. For example, you may find that trying to adjust your side view mirrors while driving leads to a near accident. Any action that takes your eyes off the road leaves you vulnerable to crashes or near misses. If a corrective action is necessary, carefully steer to and stop at a safe location where you can make adjustments before you reenter the roadway.
Eating and Drinking
Stopping at the drive through may seem like the best way to maximize your commute home from work. Unfortunately, your one-handed eating skills could be placing your life at risk. Not only should you always have two hands on the wheel, but spills from food and drinks can lead to a knee-jerk reaction that causes an accident. Wait until you get home to eat, or pull over and enjoy your meal. The food will taste better that way anyway.
Staying safe on the road requires constant attention, and it is just not possible to do two things at once. From spending a few minutes getting your vehicle controls adjusted to buckling up your pup, you can take proactive measures that ensure your actions do not lead to a traffic accident.