Distracted driving is the self-explanatory term given to any activities that divert our attention away from driving. There are three ways that we can become distracted while driving:
- Visually, by looking at something other than the road
- Manually, by using our hands for a task other than driving
- Cognitively, or thinking about something other than driving-related tasks
Avoid these 5 bad habits that can cause distracted driving to keep you, your passengers, and others on the road safe.
Smoking is bad for your health anyway, but when you’re driving it’s especially dangerous. Smoking requires that you always have one hand off the wheel, and if you must light a cigarette while driving then you’re left with both hands distracted. Make it a rule that no smoking is allowed in your car, period.
Controlling children or pets
Children and infants can be a significant distraction. From fighting siblings to a screaming baby, resist the urge to intervene while driving. Make a pledge to pull over whenever your children or pets require attention.
It’s in our nature to notice anything dangerous or out-of-the-ordinary, but be cognizant of how much time you allow yourself to notice a billboard, accident on the side of the road, or other external distraction.
The first thing that comes to many minds when talking about distracted driving is texting. In fact, the number one cause of death among teenagers is distracted driving, especially because of cell phones, according to the NHTSA. The amount of time needed to look down at a text is enough time to drive the distance of an entire football field without looking, which is more than enough time to cause a tragedy. Vow to keep devices out of reach or off completely while driving to avoid the temptation of using them.
Not only does eating and drinking require the use of your hands, but the likelihood of you spilling something and getting more flustered and distracted is very high. No matter how much of a hurry you’re in, do not start eating or drinking your food until your car is stopped.
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