5 Tips to avoid distractions whilst driving
How to prevent common distractions in the car
Being distracted can lead to errors in your judgement and may result in a collision or at best, a close call. Why take the chance?
5 common things that could cause a lack of focus when you are behind the steering wheel:
1. Smoking and Vaping:
If you smoke or vape inside your car, you could find yourself quickly distracted. What if you drop a lighted cigarette? Where would your focus be? And have you thought about how the smoke from your electronic cigarette could obstruct your view of the road?
2. Sat-Nav Systems:
As helpful as technology can be, looking at map while you are driving takes your focus off the road. To avoid falling into the habit, keep your sat-nav out of sight and listen to the instructions rather than looking. It always helps if you plan your route beforehand. And, if you need to adjust your sat-nav system, pull into a safe parking area before doing so.
3. Food and Drink:
Eating or drinking in your vehicle slows down your reaction time. It’s better to take a short break to consume food; this way you don’t have one hand off the steering wheel, and there’s less opportunity for you to be distracted.
4. Phones and Radios:
Music can become a distraction when you’ve put up the volume too high. Loud music can prevent you from hearing any key sounds, such as the sirens of emergency vehicles. Lower the volume so you remain audibly aware of your surroundings.
5. Car Ancillaries:
This means controls for indicators, lights, heaters, air-conditioning and windscreen wipers. When we use these while driving and are unfamiliar with the location of the controls, our attention is not 100% on the road. Even worse, we can sometimes take our eyes of the road for a split second or two. Learn where the controls are to minimise distraction, so you can operate them intuitively.
Driving safely requires total concentration. Try to minimise any distractions within the car. If you need to make a telephone call or make adjustments to the settings of the vehicle, find somewhere to pull over safely and do it at your leisure.