Driving a vehicle is always an activity that should be done with one’s full attention. With the increasing usage of technology, it’s easier to be distracted while driving than it was years ago. Not to mention the fact that vehicles have technology built into them, which can be distractions themselves!
Below are a few car distractions that you should be aware of. Some are obvious while others aren’t.
Newer cars are equipped with lots of entertaining and unique technology. Of course, these systems can be very distracting because of their complexity. Most of these systems require multiple steps to perform functions such as connecting Bluetooth or utilizing your navigation. Some vehicles even allow us to utilize apps and text contacts from our phone. All these features have one thing in common- they take our mind off the road and can cause slower reaction times.
We all appreciate our little furry friends coming along for a car ride with us! They’re usually great travel companions. But, they should be restricted in some way to avoid your view being blocked while driving or other distractions that may occur with them being free in your vehicle. This will save you lots of headache.
Hands-free technology is very common in new vehicles. However, hands-free doesn’t mean distraction-free! While you may have your hands on the steering wheel, mentally, your mind is focusing on giving voice commands or talking to a friend on the phone. This slows down reaction time and the ability to be a defensive driver when needed.
In fact, there was a study done by Brain Research that indicates a significantly lower driving performance when talking on the phone.
We’re all guilty of eating a fast food burger in the driver’s seat. In fact, an Exxon Mobil survey shows that 70% of people admit to having done this before. This takes your focus off the road and shifts it to not dropping or spilling anything on your clothes (or shifts it to how good your burger is…..guilty). Either way, it can wait!
You should always be aware of the passengers in your vehicle. This is especially true for teens. When beginning a drive, you should communicate to your passengers the rules of your car. This sets the tone for the entire car ride to avoid any absurd actions that can distract you from driving.
Running late for a date? An interview? Important meeting? These are common reasons for people doing their grooming in their vehicle while they’re driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re combing your hair, shaving, or putting on makeup, it should be done at home. If you must do it while in a vehicle, pull over somewhere safe and do so. If not, you may not ever make it to where you’re going versus being late and apologizing later.
We had to mention the most obvious distraction. Unfortunately, Childrens Hospital at Vanderbilt reports motor vehicle accidents to be the number one cause of teenage deaths. That’s not a pretty statistic. What activity do most teenagers engage in while driving? You guessed it, texting! You get the point of how deadly this activity can be. Not only in the teenage community, but in the general population as a whole. The text can wait. Trust us.
You’ve ever been driving and spot an accident on the side of the road? Sure, you have! Chances are you probably even slowed down just to take a peak. Well, you were rubbernecking. Rubbernecking causes a little over 15% of accidents. That’s a big enough percentage to have us worry! Your only focus should be on the road and not on getting the details of an accident.
Even the slightest distraction can cause accidents. This is why we wanted to inform you of the obvious and the not-so-obvious distractions. If you can, share this article with anyone who can benefit from it. We encourage to make any teenage drivers that you know to read as well.