Distracted driving is more than just cellphones.
There is one white lie that I cannot forgive my parents for telling me as a child; let me shed some light here. It was not until adulthood that I discovered that, in fact, it is not illegal to drive with a light on inside of your car. Yep, you read that right; it is NOT illegal! Sorry if this is the first place you learn of this harsh truth, but someone had to break it to you. I would surely hate for you to find out the way I did, on a first date. The amount of panic that overcame me was enough to cause an accident. Oh, the humiliation.
It turns out that my parents were telling me this for my own good as it is an extreme distraction while driving. It is not the only potential distraction, read through the list below on others that you may have never noticed to be threatening to your daily commute.
- Other people
- Whether it’s children, siblings, friends, or family, passengers who like to chat and mess around in the car can become quite a distraction. Research shows you drive the most cautious and safest with just yourself in the car.
- Talking on the phone
- Even if your hands are free of the phone, you can miss up to fifty percent of what is happening around you. Try your best to keep conversations brief, especially when driving in high hazard areas.
- The stress of driving to an unknown location is not a great feeling. You are constantly having to look at your GPS for your next turn, while having to wait for Siri to recalculate while repeating, “rerouting.” Try and plan out your trip before you leave to help familiarize yourself with the area.
- How many times have you “turned down the music to see?” The number of times I have done that is countless. Many people make fun of me, but reducing the sounds inside of your car does help you focus on the road and opens your field of vision.
- Eating or drinking
- Don’t get me wrong, my diet consists of 75% snacking each day. But eating and drinking makes you take your hands off the wheel. Everyone thinks they’re invincible until they’re not. Always keep both hands on the wheel.
- Personal grooming
- Wake up a few minutes earlier to touch up your hair, makeup, beard, or whatever else it is that needs grooming. The highway is not the place to pluck your eyebrows or clean your ears…the things I’ve seen while driving.
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