It’s no surprise that distracted driving equates to a large percentage of car related deaths. There are much more distractions on our roads now than there were in the past. For example, drivers may now have to contend with devices such as mobile phones that have the potential to cause a major distraction. In this article, we will be discussing some of the worst offenders.
Total concentration is required whilst driving, a mobile phone can severely compromise this focus. To be the most effective behind the wheel you must have both hands on it. If you’re replying to a text, answering a call or checking social media not only is your focus compromised you cannot keep both hands on the wheel. Your reaction time will be slower to anything that happens in your surroundings making you a hazard to yourself and other drivers.
As well as posing a risk to yourself and other road users, if you are caught using a mobile phone when driving, you face a penalty of six points and a £200 fine. Dangerous driving has the potential to make your car or van insurance premiums highly expensive.
Anyone who is driving with you in your car can command your attention and distract you from what should be your priority. Seven out of 10 people admit that they are more likely to stall when they have passengers in their car. Some people have even argued that having loud passengers in your car is just as dangerous as the driver using a mobile phone at the wheel.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drink at the wheel may sound like a silly point to raise but it can get in the way of safe, attentive driving. Most of us are guilty of having a snack in our cars at some point. Our cars encourage us to bring along a drink to place in the cup holder. Eating and drinking behind the wheel fall under the ‘careless driving’ category. Food and drink can be spilled, a distraction that can be made worse by a driver trying to clean it up. Again, by taking the driver’s attention away from the road ahead the driver not only endangers themselves but also other drivers and pedestrians. Careless driving currently carries a fine of £100 and three penalty points so it is better to wait until you get home for that evening snack.
Lost in Thought
Daydreaming can seem relatively harmless. However, daydreaming behind the wheel can carry some hard-hitting consequences. Sometimes, the best of us can find it very hard to concentrate for long periods of time. To prevent our minds from wandering it is advised that during long journeys the driver takes regular breaks. This gives you a chance to break concentration safely, rest your eyes and wake up a little before proceeding.
Generally, if you cannot place all of your attention on driving due to something else, it is a distraction. Make sure that whatever this distraction is can be taken care of before you begin your journey or stop your vehicle.