It is probably no surprise that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle related accidents, injuries, and deaths. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured in auto accidents involving distracted driving every year. And the numbers only continue to rise.
What is Considered Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving consists of any activity where your eyes are off the road, hands are off the wheel, or your mind is off the primary task of safe driving. We have all done it at one point or another, but not all distractions are created equal. Here are some of the leading distractions, some minor and some more serious, and what you can do to avoid them.
- Adjusting Climate Control or the Radio
While it seems harmless enough, adjusting the temperature or radio in your vehicle is a brief distraction that takes your attention from the road. Some cars put radio and A/C controls on the steering column. But if you don’t have that, practice the controls so you get used to them.
- Drinking and Driving
This isn’t a reference to drunk driving, though that is very dangerous, but the literal act of drinking, even if it is just water. It could involve letting go of the wheel, twisting the bottle cap, and tilting your head back. Though minor, these are all distractions. If you plan on a long trip, do what you can to mitigate thirst by drinking plenty of water beforehand. If you must drink, try using a drinking container you don’t have to open or tip to sip.
- Eating and Driving
For a lot of people there simply isn’t time for a long, comfortable breakfast or lunch. But balancing a hamburger while driving can become a serious distraction. You can try packing your lunch at night so you have more time for breakfast in the morning.
- Personal Grooming
A car driving the speed limit on the highway can cover the length of a football field in the time it takes to comb your hair. If you do need to touch up your appearance, pack the supplies in your car and use them when you reach your destination.
- Driving With Earbuds In
Using earbuds for music or calls while you drive is a terrible idea. It takes your mind off driving and disrupts your hearing—both of which can be very dangerous. Most cars have ports for you to connect your music or phone to the car stereo.
- Distractions from Passengers
Passengers can produce varying levels of distraction, depending on how they behave. You might have to endure everything from motion sickness to shouting matches. Never hesitate to pull to the side of the road or park until things settle down.
- Adjusting the GPS
Navigation tools are widely popular and useful. But setting your destination and activating the GPS can be a huge distraction. That is why most applications verify if you are a passenger before allowing you to proceed. Set your GPS before you set off.
Gawking at something on the side of the road leaves you vulnerable to accidents. If something distracts you, it will probably distract others as well. And multiple distracted drivers near each other are more dangerous. If you are curious about something along the road, pull off somewhere far enough out of the way so you don’t add to the spectacle.
Perhaps the biggest distraction for a driver on the road is their cellphone. Talking, texting, emailing, taking pictures/videos, and checking apps—the risk is far too great. Put your phone away and out of reach. Nothing can’t wait a few minutes for you to safely pull over and park.
Being tired or lost in thought makes you a hazard on the road. Pull over and rest until your mind is ready to focus on the task at hand.
We are all tempted to take our minds and eyes off the road while driving in Ortonville, MI. What is important is we realize our own distracted driving habits and recognize how dangerous they can be. Letting our guard down, even for just one second to take a sip of coffee, is all it takes to cause a collision resulting in expensive auto repair or worse. It needs to stop, and we all can work to curb the epidemic. For more information contact Holly Tire auto repair in Ortonville, MI or visit 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.