For those who have been driving for years, it can quickly become a monotonous task. A part of your routine that feels as normal as breathing or walking around your house. Those years of experience behind the wheel have made you complacent when you get on the road. And then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum. Young, new drivers who consider themselves an expert, after having their licenses for 6 months. These teens think they have the ability to multi-task while behind the wheel and that accidents don't happen to them. But whether you're a new driver, or have been doing it for decades, the distractions that occur while out on the road occur to everyone. With so many heartfelt stories of accidents and close calls, avoid becoming a statistic by abstaining from the three following types of distractions.
3 Types of Distracted Driving
- Visual - A distraction that requires you to look away from the road while driving. This could be as simple as checking your watch or looking at which radio station or song you're currently listening to. Although you may feel in a hurry, arriving to your destination a little late but safely is well worth keeping your eyes on the road for.
- Manual - Physically taking your hands off the wheel to do something else in the car while driving. Eating, checking your cell phone, changing your podcast or current song playing are all manual distractions. Develop a habit of keeping both hands on the wheel at all times, and embrace any Bluetooth technologies your car may possess.
- Mental - Thinking about something other than driving. Mentally checking out to think of future plans or previous events is a regular distraction for drivers of all experience levels. Whenever you catch yourself thinking about how hungry you are on the way home from work, bring your mind back onto the road to reach that meal safely.
With 72% of commercial drivers acknowledging they could possibly cause an accident due to their distracted habits, it's important to stay as focused as possible while behind the wheel of a car. Consider the following tips to become a more aware and attentive driver.
Distracted Driving Precautions
- Avoid eating while driving.
- Put your phone in your center console or put it on do not disturb.
- Get a full night's sleep before long drives.
- Be aware of your posture. If you recognize yourself slouching, try fixing your posture to an upright position.
- Take breaks during long trips, every 2-3 hours if possible.
- Travel with others when they are available.
No matter your experience level as a driver, following these steps will help ensure you're as attentive as possible while driving. Make a difference with positive change and take the pledge to stay off your electronic devices while behind the wheel. You're worth it!