What are the top 10 ways to be distracted while driving?
Operating any vehicle means being responsible behind the wheel. Thousands of car accidents happen every year that could have been avoided by a split second and while it’s natural to become distracted at times it is equally important to be aware of what distractions are around.
Distracted driving laws have been recently introduced by many states to help protect the safety of our roads but even with these laws its common to do things which may not seem like a big deal at the time. Unfortunately it takes a car accident for some drivers to realize how important it is to stay focused on the task of driving while avoiding simple tasks that can be accomplished without risking the life of you, your passengers and others. The top 10 driver distractions which often result in a car accident are:
Chit Chatting on the Cell Phone
While there are good reasons to take a call while you’re driving most conversations behind the wheel involve mundane matters which can wait until you pull over. Do you really want to risk your child’s life because you couldn’t wait to hear about your best friend’s new nail polish color? Try to avoid using a cell phone whenever driving a car. It will not only make you a safer driver but also provide some peaceful technology-free moments in life which are becoming harder and harder to find.
You put on your best suit or just spent $300 on a haircut to look beautiful however the double check in the mirror before you left was not good enough. Both women drivers and men are at fault here. If you feel the need to look in the rear view mirror and comb your hair or put your lipstick on while driving then it’s probably time to take a look at your life and realize it’s time to slow down a little and enjoy life. Your hair or lips are not going to look any different if you do it when you stop.
Kids. The greatest joy of life yet also one of the biggest distractions behind the wheel. If you are driving with children in the car its even more critical to pay attention to the road and not become involved in family disputes while risking safety. If the kids are acting up or you feel like you need to kick some tires then pull over and settle your issues. Don’t risk personal injury to your children due to your lack of patience.
Texting while Driving
The stereotype here is the teenager who constantly needs to stay in touch with her BFF even for the 3 minute drive to the store however teenage drivers are not just at risk. Adults and seniors have all embraced the mobile phone and texting and driving is the #1 driver distraction in many age groups. You want to be cool? Put the phone down and drive!
Some people’s cars are also mini-kitchens but can you really not find 5 minutes to stop and enjoy a quick meal or drink? If you can’t then you are doing something wrong in life and also exposing yourself to risk every day. We all laugh at stories about some guy who dropped a piece of lettuce and then caused a 10 car pileup – sadly however stories like this are true and happen every day. Leave the food for the kitchen or rest stop, not only will your driving skill improve but also your waistline.
Reading while Driving
For those people who actually still read newspapers what is so important that it can’t wait until you get to the office? Some very important words of advice – the newspaper were printed last night. It’s not really breaking news now is it?
Brad Pitt just walked by… OMG did you see the woman in the red dress? Men and women are both guilty of people watching while driving. Whether it’s an attractive person, a crazy dressed person or people just doing weird things. Anything striking our attention is almost an uncontrollable reaction to look but stay focused on the road. If you look too long you might just not only end up in a car accident but also be rewarded with the title “stalker” on your business card.
The GPS Lady
Ok, it’s fair to say there is a GPS man also but do you actually know anyone who has ever changed the default setting on their navigation system? While it’s commendable the GPS Lady can tell you where to go she is not a guardian angel to protect you from a car accident. Always use any kind of navigation device with caution otherwise your next destination might be the emergency room.
Playing Rock Star in your Car
Even with American Idol auditions in town there is still never an excuse to play with your radio and CD’s while driving or terribly embarrassing yourself by car dancing. Hey, when stopped at a red light do whatever you want but when you have your foot on the pedal then relax and focus on the road. You can always take comfort that nobody in this world is a better singer or dancer than you when you’re in the shower so what is there to prove anyway?
Movie Time in the Car
Eventually some cars are going to come equipped with popcorn machines but for now we simply have to worry about DVD players. While many states outlaw the use of any DVD player installed in the front seating area some people still don’t believe they can live without a DVD player while commuting to work. Obviously these people need more therapy then we can provide here but leave the TV for home unless you want to watch reruns of NCIS in a hospital bed for months.
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