Driving is a task that requires your complete attention and concentration, as even minor distractions can lead to an accident or lead to putting other drivers in danger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that driving distractions claimed 3,142 deaths in the United States alone in 2020.
Whether you’re a new driver or someone who has been on the road for some time now, it is vital to know what the top three driving distractions are so that you can do everything possible to avoid them. So if you want to keep your safety as a driver in mind at all times, keep reading to discover more about the top driving distractions and how you can avoid them whenever possible.
Cell Phone Usage
Using cell phones while operating a vehicle is a driving distraction that many people don’t consider a severe risk. However, studies have shown that using cell phones while driving increases the risk of accidents.
When you’re talking on the phone or texting while driving, your mind is on the conversation or text message, not the road ahead. That means delayed reaction times, and you may not be able to react in time if necessary.
While cell phones are a necessary part of our lives, taking them out of the equation while driving is imperative. If you need to use your phone while driving, you can use a hands-free device to minimize distractions. If you don’t have a hands-free device, you should wait until you’re not driving before using your cell phone.
Using the GPS
Another driving distraction many people do not realize is overusing the GPS. While it is a helpful tool when traveling, the constant need to look down at your GPS is a surefire way to get in an accident.
There’s no reason to look down at your GPS every second while behind the wheel. Instead, many GPS units have audible directions, so you can have it on in the background while paying attention to the road.
Unfortunately, if you choose to look down at your GPS, you’re not only taking your eyes off the road, but you’re taking your hands off the wheel if you’re touching your phone. While you may think it’s okay to take your hands off the wheel for a quick second to figure out your GPS, you’re putting yourself and others on the road in grave danger.
Dealing With Children or Pets
One inevitable driving distraction is dealing with children or pets in the car. For most people, driving with children happens daily; for others, traveling with pets is also a regular occurrence.
However, children or pets in your car can become a driving distraction. Whether it’s a child who doesn’t know how to stay quiet while in the car or a pet constantly trying to get your attention, these distractions are bound to happen.
If you have children in your vehicle talking or asking questions, try to give them toys to play with to stay quiet and occupied. If you have pets in your car who are constantly looking for attention, try to keep them in a confined area in the vehicle so that they can’t get your attention while you’re driving.
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