ONE SIMPLE RULE TO AVOID DISTRACTED DRIVING
Posted on: Jan. 13, 2017 in Driving, Accidents, Safety

You’re not a distracted driver. You’re not one of those people who is staring down at a phone while cruising down the road doing 65 mph. You’re paying attention, right? Putting the phone down while the car is in motion is absolutely a part of safe driving, but it’s not the only thing you have to worry about. Anything that takes your focus off the activity of operating a vehicle can be a distraction.

Many people feel it’s acceptable to check their phone while stopped in slow traffic or at a light. This practice is not only dangerous but also is likely illegal. However, just because your car isn’t moving, or is moving very slowly, it doesn’t mean you have any less responsibility for your vehicle. You still must remain vigilant in maintaining focus on your car. Engaging in activity while stopped or moving slowly means you can easily misjudge what other cars are doing, you may hold up traffic by not moving when it’s your turn, or you can’t avoid emergency vehicles that may need to get past you.

Keep in mind that even handsfree phone usage can be problematic. Using your phone’s GPS system can be a big help to get you to your destination it can also be a distraction. Chatting on the phone with friends or participating in a conference call take your focus off the road even if your eyes are still there.

Other activities that can take your focus off the road can have equally catastrophic consequences but they don’t receive the same level of attention and outreach as smartphone usage. These activities include:

  • Applying make-up or conducting other personal grooming tasks
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking with passengers
  • Reaching for items in the backseat or on the floor of the car
  • Tending to children
  • Changing the radio station or adjusting the music

While you’re driving, that’s the only thing you should be doing. As easy as it may be to put the phone away or to eat breakfast at home, sometimes it’s hard to quiet the mind as you drive. Whether you’re upset about an argument with someone or you’re stressed about your job, it’s important to do your best to not become preoccupied by your thoughts while operating your car.

Any distraction can slow your reaction time, putting you and others at risk. Paying attention to the road, and only the road, is the only safe way to drive.

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