Driving requires your full attention, and distractions can be a significant roadblock to safety. From the moment you turn the key in the ignition, you are responsible not only for your own well-being but also for the safety of others on the road. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 3000 fatalities per year are due to distracted driving.
In today’s technologically advanced world, distractions are more prevalent than ever, making it vital to understand how you can minimize them before you start driving.
Recognize the distractions
Understanding what distracts you while driving is the first step to minimizing those distractions. Whether it is your phone, food or even a lively conversation with a passenger, identify the things that pull your attention away from the task at hand.
Turn off or silence electronic devices
Your mobile phone is likely one of the most significant distractions while driving. Before you start the car, turn it off or put it on silent mode. If you need to use a navigation system, set the destination before you begin driving, so you do not have to adjust it while on the road.
Keep food and drink out of reach
Eating and drinking while driving can divert your attention from the road. If you need to eat or drink, do it before you start driving or pull over at a rest stop. By keeping food and drink out of reach, you can avoid the temptation to snack while driving.
Talk to passengers about minimizing distractions
Passengers can be a great source of distraction, especially if they are loud or animated when talking. Let them know that you need to concentrate on driving and ask for their cooperation in keeping the noise and distractions to a minimum.
Maintain your vehicle
Regular maintenance and proper organization can help you keep your focus on driving. If everything in your car is in its place and in working order, you will not need to fumble around for items or adjust settings, which can divert your attention from the road.
Distractions are a dangerous aspect of driving, but with awareness and a proactive approach, you can minimize them before you even turn the ignition. This can make driving a more secure and enjoyable experience.