10 Most Dangerous Distracted Driving Habits
On average, one in every four car accidents is caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving can take many forms that involve anything from texting to eating or drinking while behind the wheel. You may think that you’re an attentive driver, but even the best of us can be guilty of engaging in unsafe practices while on the road.
To stay safe, here are 10 of the most dangerous distracted driving habits to avoid:
1. Texting and Driving:
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions as it requires your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind on something else. Sometimes it’s urgent to text back to messages but whatever happens, try to pull over or wait for the next stop.
2. Eating and Drinking:
Eating while drinking may seem like a safe distraction, but it can pose a risk in several ways. Here are examples
- Food and beverages can become a choking hazard if you’re multitasking while behind the wheel.
- Hot coffee or other liquid spilled on your lap may cause you to make an unsafe maneuver while driving.
- Greasy hands may make it difficult to hold onto the steering wheel properly.
All of these distractions can take your focus off the road long enough for an accident to occur. The solution to this problem is to eat before or after you get in the car and to never eat while driving.
You may have seen in movies how your favorite actor does their makeup or shaves while driving when they want to get somewhere fast. However, grooming yourself while driving is never a good idea. From shaving to applying makeup to brushing your hair or teeth – these activities can all be dangerous distractions that take your eyes off the road. Again, this is an issue because a majority of people have reduced concentration when multitasking, so a minimal amount of attention is diverted from the road. The solution to this problem is to set aside time in the morning or evening for grooming before or after you drive.
4. Driving While Drowsy:
This is one of the most dangerous practices while driving. Operating a motor vehicle while feeling fatigued or drowsy can have very serious consequences – as it can impair reaction time, judgment, and awareness. It’s recommended that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to avoid operating a vehicle in this type of state. Additionally, it’s important to pull over and take a break if you start feeling drowsy while driving.
5. Driving in Unfamiliar Areas:
Navigating unfamiliar roads can be both time-consuming and potentially dangerous. Drivers should familiarize themselves with the area before operating a motor vehicle – as this can reduce stress levels and help avoid unexpected turns and sudden stops. Additionally, it’s important to not try to multitask while driving in these types of areas – as this could potentially lead to an increased risk of distracted driving.
After a long day of tiring work, it’s easy to let your mind wander while behind the wheel of a car. You may feel fulfilled thinking about the solutions to your problems, organizing your thoughts, and planning for the future – but daydreaming can also be incredibly dangerous. You can easily become inattentive and miss a stop sign or be too distracted to notice an oncoming vehicle. Make sure your mind is always focused on the road ahead when driving.
7. Calling or Receiving Calls
For some reason, some people find it necessary to talk on their phones while driving. Even if you’re using a hands-free device, the distraction of talking on the phone can lead to an increase in reaction time and an overall decrease in focus on the road. You’ll agree that conversations can elicit emotions, which can cause you to take your eyes off the road. Don’t call or receive calls while driving – and if it’s absolutely necessary, pull over!
8. Diverting Attention to Billboards and Other Distractions
The roads are full of billboards and advertisements – some of which can be quite captivating. This is particularly true when the ads are animated. This can take your mind off the road, often leading to dangerous swerving and even causing accidents. Keep your eyes focused on the road ahead – don’t be distracted by billboards or other signage.
9. Taking Selfies and Updating Social Media
It’s become the latest craze – taking selfies and posting them on social media while driving! It’s extremely dangerous and illegal in many states, as it can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road for extended periods of time. You can save the selfies for later – don’t risk your safety by trying to take a great picture while driving.
10. Fiddling With Entertainment and Onboard Electronics
It’s becoming more and more popular for cars to come equipped with electronic entertainment systems, such as televisions or computers. But fiddling around with these devices as you drive can be just as distracting as texting or talking on the phone. Keep your eyes focused on the road ahead – don’t get distracted by trying to change the radio station or watching a movie while driving.
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