Recently, cellphones have taken the most heat and been cast as the supervillains of driver distraction. From texting and receiving phone calls to cruising through popular music apps to stream through your car’s Bluetooth, many people just can’t seem to take their hands—or eyes—off of their phone screens.
But surely the lowly phone cannot be responsible for all of the distracted driving crashes. You would be right—your car is full of other distractions that practically beg for your attention, making them every bit as dangerous as the cellphone that has been stealing the distraction spotlight. The following are a few examples:
- Passengers – Including your children, can steal the show when it comes to your focus. Maybe you find yourself lost in a scintillating conversation with your best friend in the passenger seat, or maybe your toddler is throwing a fit from the car seat behind you. No matter who it may be, do not let your passengers take your eyes or attention off of the road.
- GPS – Lost? Your GPS could cause you to become distracted. From the friendly British male to the soothing, velvety-voiced woman, the voices coming from your GPS can be confusing and distracting. The visual map displays often take your eyes off of the road for longer than they should be. Familiarizing yourself with your route prior to your trip can help keep your focus on the road, letting your GPS serve as a safety net, and not your primary source of directional information.
- Eating and drinking – That fast food habit may be harming more than your cholesterol. Eating and drinking behind the wheel takes your hands, eyes, and focus off of the road in the best of conditions—spilling or dropping something could cause a panic that may pose a serious risk. Play it safe, and give yourself a few minutes to eat or snack before hitting the road.
As humans, we can find distractions anywhere we look, but this year, make it your mission to eliminate known distractions and stay focused on the task at hand—driving safely!