Driving is fun and enjoyable. But when you get in an accident, it’s not something you forget immediately. In fact, many people have been known to develop a phobia for cars after they had their first accident.
Whatever the case, the best thing to do is to take all the necessary precautions to prevent any incident. Sure, there might be the occasional accident that’s caused by another person. While those may not be avoidable –who knows, maybe they could if you’re 100% focused?- it is always better to do your best whilst driving and avoid taking your eyes off the road.
To help prevent any accidents, you need to know what the potential causes could be. One of the major causes of accidents in the US alone is distractions. Knowing what these distractions are and doing everything possible to prevent it will definitely help you stay safe while on the road.
Texting and Phone Calls
According to the National Safety Council, over 1.4 million accidents are caused by drivers who were making phone calls and at least 200,000 caused by individual who texting while they were driving. Some of these accidents were fatal while the others were minor. The point is that making phone calls and texting whist driving is the surest way to get involved in an accident.
In case you didn’t know, when you’re on the phone, you’re almost blind to everything that’s happening to you. Studies including one that involved clowns riding unicycles at a train station indicated that people who were on the phone hardly noticed this abnormality.
Now, if something is enough to take your concentration away from everything you’re doing including clowns on unicycles, then why would you even do that when you’re driving? Texting is pretty obvious.
There’s no way you’re going to text without looking at your screen. Even when you’re using your voice to text facilities, you’ll still have to look at your screen to make sure the output is exactly what you intended. Bottom line, if you want to stay safe and avoid any accidents, you should stop making phone calls and texting while driving.
Women, listen up. It doesn’t matter how much hurry you’re in, please apply your makeup at home or when you’re caught in a traffic jam and there’s an absolute standstill. Applying makeup is a major distraction and is particularly responsible for a lot of rear-end collisions. Usually, all it takes to get in an accident is just a few seconds of not looking at the road while you’re applying your makeup.
Conversation in the Car
Research has shown that people are easily distracted by conversations happening in the car. This is why when you’re the driver, you need to pay extra attention to the road when there’s a crowd or you have a passenger in your car. If you must participate, please keep your eyes on the road and make sure that you are always focused on your driving. Conversations tend to cause elevated levels of distractions. So, be careful.
Eating, Drinking, and Changing Music Stations
These three things plus trying to pick up stuff from the floor or looking in the dashboard can cause some accidents. To do any of these, you will be momentarily distracted. It is even worse when you have a hot drink like coffee or tea in your hands.
And getting your clothes stained by food crumbs can further distract you whilst driving. So, do the smart thing and try not to do any of these. If you must change the radio stations, be sure to keep your eyes on the road.
Now that you know what the major distractions are, make sure to avoid them and you’ll more than likely be very safe.
Amit Gangrade is from Orlando, Florida. He is a recent alumn from the University of Florida, where he studied anthropology and Spanish, and will be attending law school at Emory University in the fall of 2014. In the meantime, Amit is working as a content writer for www.DriverPhysicals.com, a website for locating certified DOT medical examiners.