We all have seen distracted drivers on the roads. These actions can easily lead to an accident, so if you’re doing anything besides focusing on the road, time to take another look in the (rear view) mirror. Some examples of distracted driving are:
1. Using Your Phone
Texting, listening to your voicemail, and dialing is all significant enough to distract a driving. Even if at a stoplight or stop sign, using your cellphone is dangerous and it is illegal if you are under the age of 18 in Virginia. Because you could be the reason you miss a light, or worse, lose your life. Distracted drivers are often at fault for car accidents because they don’t have their eyes on the road at the time of the crash.
Daydreaming or being “lost in thought” is the number one distraction responsible for the most amount of fatal car crashes. It may be tempting to let your mind drift while stuck in soul-crushing traffic, but keeping your mind off the road poses a serious risk to yourself and all other drivers on the road.
The act of eating requires at least one hand to feed yourself, which can impair your reaction time on the road. In addition to the actual act of feeding yourself, taking your eyes off the road to look for any food-related items, such as a napkin or fork, can be equally as dangerous.
4. Having your Pet in the Car (or the insect that flew into your car)
Having any type of animal in the car (invited or not) can be a serious distraction to drivers, putting everyone’s lives at risk. Petting your animal, sitting in your lap or telling it to not to do something can divert your attention and eyes away from the road.
Rubbernecking, the act of staring at something of interest, is a human trait that is associated with curiosity. The most common form of rubbernecking is when a driver looks at a crash scene. While it’s natural to be curious, avoid giving in so you can divert all your attention to what is ahead of you.
6. Adjusting the Radio or Climate
Always prioritize finding the right radio station and climate for your car prior to driving, if possible. If need to adjust the radio or climate, wait until you are at a full and complete stop.
7. Adjusting Car Controls
Adjusting mirrors and checking lights should all be completed before you hit the road. Doing so will put you and your passengers in the best spot to prevent an accident.
8. Engaging with Other People in Your Car
Carpooling is great for the environment but can impair your attention and driving abilities. When driving with company, prioritize everyone’s safety first by asking your passengers to avoid any heavy conversations or distracting behaviors.
Some of the reasons listed for fatal distracted driving accidents may appear to be minor, but they can have severe consequences. Driving is the only thing you should be doing while operating a vehicle. Any distraction, or potential distraction, should be taken care of or set up prior to driving your car.