No matter how much more time you are spending at home these days, commuting to work or running essential errands is probably still part of your weekly routine. But if double-checking your grocery list or losing yourself in your favorite songs while driving are also parts of your routine, then you should consider eliminating them.
Multitasking behind the wheel is risky. Not only do distracted drivers risk their own lives, but they put other drivers in a dangerous position. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,000 people, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists, were killed because of a distracted driver’s actions in 2018. Prevention of these types of accidents can begin with drivers who are more mindful of what distractions look like and how they approach driving.
Types of distractions
The Centers for Disease Control highlights three main ways that drivers lose sight of the road ahead. This includes distractions that force drivers to remove their hands from the wheel, those that shift a driver’s mental focus and those that drive a person’s eyes off the road. Common distractions often include texting and driving, eating or drinking, listening to music, conversing and daydreaming. While a lot of these tasks may seem like second nature and easy to manage while driving, they can easily become the reason a driver rear-ends another vehicle or slips into a ditch.
Preventing these kinds of accidents can begin before you enter your vehicle. Try not to drive when you are in a very negative or contemplative headspace. Taking the time to wait until you are more calm or clear-headed is going to allow your mind to better zero in on the activity of driving.
The next step, and often the hardest part, is to continue to keep driving your only focus. Some starting points can include:
- Storing your phone out of reach
- Setting music to a reasonable volume
- Not having deep conversations with passengers
- Fighting the urge to reach for food or other items
- Ignoring large billboards
Unfortunately, you can only control what happens in your vehicle. This means you can change your ways and still cross paths with a distracted driver. If this does happen and you wind up with injuries and vehicle damage, then it’s worth seeking compensation.