If you don't pay attention to the road while you're driving, you're at risk for a car accident. Distracted driving is a serious concern in the United States. About 10 percent of all fatal accidents are caused by a distracted driver. Not only that, but 18 percent of all car accident-related injuries are the result of distracted driving.
Most people think that distracted driving only relates to cell phone use - texting or talking while driving. However, even if you never use your cell phone while driving, you're still at risk for distraction. Here are six sources of distractions that you need to avoid while driving.
1. Animated Conversations
If you enjoy a good conversation while you drive, keep them toned down. Animated conversations take your eyes off the road and your mind off your driving. Every time you look at the other person in the conversation, you stop concentrating on the drive. The more people involved in the conversation, the more of a distraction it becomes.
2. Navigational Systems
Navigational systems eliminate the need for paper maps. A good GPS system also gets you to your destination without unnecessary detours. Unfortunately, navigational systems pose a serious distraction while you drive, especially when you look at the screen. Each time you look at the screen on your GPS, you lose sight of what's around you. Reduce the screen time by adjusting the volume control so that you hear the navigational directions.
3. Food and Beverages
If you're like most people, you consume food and beverages while you drive. If you don't think that activity poses a risk, think again. Each time you reach for your food or drink, you take your eyes off the cars in front of you. Not only that, but the wrapper, cup, and straw interfere with your field of vision, which reduces your ability to see what's going on around you. If you drop your food or beverage, your eyes leave the road as you clean up the mess.
When you need to grab a bite to eat, park your car and enjoy your meal.
4. In-Car Entertainment
Radios and DVD players are ways to keep your passengers entertained on long road trips. However, entertainment systems are also a source of distractions for you, especially if you're in charge of the controls. Station changes and movie requests all require you to concentrate on something other than your driving. Eliminate that distraction with a designated entertainment supervisor. They handle the entertainment while you concentrate on the road.
5. Sibling Disagreements
Children don't always get along in the car. In fact, they get into heated disagreements from time to time. Those disagreements turn into a distraction while you drive. If your children begin to fight while you're on the road, pull off to a safe location before you intervene. You can focus on the issue at hand without the risk of distraction.
6. Bodily Functions
Long road trips require frequent rest stops. If you try to extend the time between bathroom breaks, your own bodily functions become a source of distraction. A full bladder or an intense need to empty your bowels takes your mind off your driving and increases your risk of an accident. While you're on the road, stop to relieve yourself before the need becomes too intense.
Distractions come in all forms. As always, keep your cell phone out of your hands while you drive. In addition, avoid the distractions described above. Unfortunately, you can't prevent others from driving while distracted. If you're involved in a car accident, contact us at Auto World Collision. We'll fix your car and get you back on the road.