The road poses various kinds of dangers from multiple causes, such as malfunctioning traffic lights, road bumps and blocks, unintended sun glare, and many more. These items are dangerous distractions beyond the driver’s control, which can be avoided. However, some situations should have been avoided, only if the driver’s attention is on the road and not on anything else. According to Flagstaff auto repair in Arizona, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of a vehicle collision, according to their experience.
Here are the top five scenarios classified under distracted driving and how to avoid them from causing accidents.
#1 Using Mobile Device While Driving
The use of mobile devices even on the road is one of the highest causes of vehicle collisions last 2020. As the popularity of new technology soared high, their unfortunate consequences also increased. One of which is causing distracted driving.
Today, these mobile devices, especially smartphones, are not only for texting and calling. It also houses thousands of applications, including camera apps, social media apps, games, etc., which can ultimately cause a distraction to the driver. Mobile device use causes the driver to:
- Lower attentiveness on the road: Looking into your smartphone, even for a while, to read and reply to an SMS, answer a phone call, or browse through your social media account poses a too high risk to your safety and everyone around you at that moment.
- Loose focus: Putting your attention to your phone other than driving.
- Take hand/s off the wheel.
For you to understand the effect of distracted driving because of mobile devices, here are some numbers for you to see:
- According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), almost 481,000 people use their phones while driving during the day. They also reported that in 2017, 3,166 civilians died from distracted driving.
- As per the CDC, drivers on their phones killed about nine people and harmed more than 1,000 people in the USA alone.
- The National Occupant Protection Use Survey also reported that teens are most vulnerable to use their phones while on the steering wheels.
Unfortunately, no national law banning wireless devices while driving is present to prohibit people from doing such. However, several states already took action and made laws to ban smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices while driving. The law includes texting, talking, and using mobile apps while in control of the car on the road.
What you should do: While replying to a message or getting a call is essential, endangering your life, your passengers’, and even those around you (other drivers or pedestrians) because of distracted driving is not worth the risk. If you need to use your phone for whatever reason, push your hazard button and safely steer your vehicle towards a safe area.
#2 Looking Elsewhere Other Than The Road
A lot of things can occur in a split-second. Be it inside or outside your vehicle, looking away and focusing on anything other than the road is clearly a distraction. According to studies, five seconds of the driver’s inattentiveness at about 55 miles per hour, same travel time from end to end of a football field. These five seconds could result in severe injury or, worse, death.
What should you do: According to a survey, two of the most common reasons for looking elsewhere are unruly kids in the backseat and searching for the destination. If you are a parent with kids, make sure to keep them secure with seatbelts before you start your journey. While unfortunate scenarios happen, like kids arguing or being unruly at the backseat, you are assured they are safe until you find a place to park to calm them down. Moreover, when unsure of where to go, find a safe place for you to park and check your map or call anyone who can help you with directions. Either way, you need to stop driving.
#3 Fixing Car Controls
Newer car models and other motorized vehicles offer the most modern features today. Some have multiple settings, which aims to improve the person's driving experience using it. However, suppose the driver failed to adjust the setting before going on the road or is not familiar with the vehicle's buttons. In that case, he might be distracted to fix the vehicle's settings even when driving.
What should you do: Nevertheless, do note that these modern features are meant to enhance the driving experience, and most designs include safety measures. For example, you can connect your smartphones to some car models nowadays. Clicking next to your car music control would pose much of a hazard, but taking too long to choose your next song is definitely a distraction. Therefore, before leaving your garage to travel, adjust all your car controls - your mirrors, seating position, temperature, and even your music list.
#4 Having A Meal While Driving
A lot of people have a busy day. It is where drivers who eat in their vehicles come in. In their attempt to multi-task, some grab a bite while driving along the road. But did you know that having a meal while behind the wheel is also distracted driving?
Eating entails the use of hands, which may mean the balancing of food and handling the steering wheel. Even sipping a soda needs your attention (so as not to spill anything in your car).
What should you do: Before leaving your home, your office, or your previous location, eat your meal already. Not only will it allow early digestion, finishing your food before you start driving allows you to have full attention on the road.
#5 Self-Grooming or Putting Make-Up While Driving
Another common cause of distracted driving is self-grooming or putting on make-up. Self-grooming includes combing or fixing hair, checking facial appearance, and even changing outfits. These activities take your hands off the steering wheel and lower your focus on the road.
What should you do: Occasions and events are essential but so is your life. These activities can wait until you reach your destination. Ensure you are fully stopped and parked well before you continue applying make-up or grooming your hair.
Distracted driving is the foremost cause of collisions, which could damage your car and result in severe injury or death. Remember, you can always have your car fixed by Flagstaff auto repair if any accidents happen. But causing harm to others or losing a life because of five seconds of distraction can be prevented. Choose safety. Focus on the road.