4 tips to avoid distracted driving & curb crashes.
The world is changing & life is evolving but one thing remains the same – distractions cause crashes. Avoid distracted driving with our four safe driving tips.
When you’re away on holiday, relaxing at the beach, with not a care in the world, that is the kind of distraction that is accepted. However, on the other side of the coin, being distracted on the road – that is without a doubt, one of the most dangerous things you can do.
Every year, thousands of people lose their lives to distracted driving. It has become a serious problem on our roads and the fact that life is becoming more fast-paced doesn’t help the cause.
To tackle the problem of distracted driving and prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of becoming 1 of these drivers, we have to understand what it means to be distracted on the roads and learn how to understand this concept.
The misconception behind distracted driving
Anything that takes your attention off of the road when your hands are on the wheel counts as a distraction.
It may be something as small as shifting to your gaze to a store on the side of the road or something as big as doing your makeup in the car. Regardless of how large or small the distraction is, the consequences will be the same, and this is where the misconception comes in.
Many drivers tend to believe that only bigger distractions can lead to crashes and that they can handle smaller distractions. This is not the case. The road is a place where it takes a split second for disaster to strike. With that being said, all distractions can result in the same aftermath, irrespective of the extent of distraction.
What many drivers also don’t understand is that there are different kinds of distractions such as:
- Visual distractions – These distractions happen when you take your eyes off the road to look at something else (i.e. GPS, phone, etc.)
- Physical/manual distractions – These distractions are the result of physically taking your hands off the wheel to do something else (i.e. eat food, fiddle with the radio, etc.)
- Cognitive distractions – These distractions happen when your mind wanders and you lose focus on the road (i.e. thinking deeply about things etc.).
It’s important to understand that even though these kinds of distractions differ in the way they are performed they are equally dangerous. Making the mistake of thinking otherwise is when crashes happen.
Now that you are familiar with what distracted driving is and the forms it comes in, we can get to the part of learning to avoid it through safe driving tips.
Tips to avoid distracted driving
At one point or another, willingly or unwillingly, we have all been distracted on the road. It is crucial that we do everything we can to prevent this from happening every time we get in our cars. Here are our top 4 safe driving tips to help you avoid being distracted on the road.
- Channel your focus
- Don’t be a distraction
- Plan before you drive
- Don’t try multi-task
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these tips and have a look at how they can help you curb distraction.
Channel your focus
Distraction-free driving is a part of a mindset.
Once you climb in your car, you need to shift the way you think and put that driving hat on. That means channeling all of your focus into driving safely and not letting anything steer your focus in another direction.
Don’t be a distraction
To prevent distractions from happening to us, we must prevent distractions from happening to others.
This means not being a distraction by avoiding calling friends or family members when they are driving. By doing so, you not only increase your chances of safe arrival but your loved ones too.
Plan before you drive
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Before you set off on your drive, do all the planning that you need to so that you don’t have to do any of it on the move. This means:
- Planning your route
- Letting friends/family know you’re driving
- Planning stops
- Applying your makeup
- Setting your radio
- Setting your temperature
By doing so, you eliminate the need for doing anything that causes a distraction
Don’t try multi-task
Multi-tasking is the route of all evil when it comes to distracted driving. Thinking that we can do 2 things at once whilst driving is what causes fatalities.
Do 1 thing and 1 thing only – focus on the road. You are the driver and your mission is to drive and do it safely.
The roads are full of distractions. However, by doing your part of practicing the above safe driving tips and getting into the right mindset before you drive, you can make a real difference on the roads and be a part of something bigger – making the roads a safer, less fatal place.
Practice these for tips every time you get in your KWID and always avoid distracted driving, #DriveTribe.