Dangerous Habits of Distracted Driving
Compared with drunk driving, distracted driving might not sound like such a big deal. After all, everyone gets distracted, right? Can being distracted for a few seconds really cause an accident?
Unfortunately, yes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents involving distracted driving resulted in more than 3,000 deaths in the United States in 2017. That’s more than eight deaths every day of the year. Distracted driving is deadly, so here are five dangerous habits of distracted drivers that you should avoid.
Distracted Driving Using a Smartphone
Maybe you want to shoot a quick text to a friend to let him or her know that you’re running late. Or, perhaps your smartphone is driving you crazy because it keeps dinging, and you want to check it. As tempting as it is to reach for your phone while behind the wheel, resist the urge. If you must use your phone while on the road, pull over to a safe place.
Navigation Systems are a Distraction for Drivers
Paper maps are going the way of the horse and buggy as more people shift to GPS systems in their vehicles. However, fiddling with your GPS can be as distracting as trying to drive while looking at an old-fashioned map. If you decide to use GPS, program your route before you hit the road. If you need to make adjustments along the way, pull over before doing so.
Conversations Can Lead to Distracted Driving
If you’re on the road with your friends, you probably don’t want to remain as silent as a statue. However, your primary responsibility is to drive safely, so anything else – including talking – should take second place to this task. If you’re easily distracted, keep conversation in the car to a minimum. When talking, don’t take your eyes off the road or turn around to look at passengers in the back seat.
Driving Distracted While Playing Music
Maybe your car has an incredible sound system, and you love to play your favorite tunes while cruising the streets. Driving while listening to music can get your adrenaline pumping, but music can also be a huge distraction. Some traffic safety experts recommend that teenagers and other new drivers avoid listening to music in the car for at least six months after getting their license. If you do listen to music in your vehicle, don’t shuffle through your playlist while driving. Get your music queued up before you take off.
Distracted Driving While Eating
Your car might seem like a great place to have a quick snack if you’re on the go and can’t stop to eat. However, snacking can take your attention away from the road. Plan your trip so that you’ll have time to eat either before your journey or after you arrive at your destination.
Snacking, navigating, conversing, listening to music, and doing anything with your phone can easily distract you from driving safely. If you avoid these five dangerous habits, you’ll help to keep the roads safer for everyone.