Distracted driving is something that can be easily avoided, yet many drivers continue to do it day after day. When you drive distracted, not only are you putting yourself at risk, you’re also putting everyone else around you at risk, too.
Of course, it’s always important to have the proper amount of coverage on your auto insurance policy, but ultimately, you as the driver have a responsibility to keep your eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel at all times.
The most common types of distracted driving include:
Distracted Driving Due To Phone Use
This may be obvious, but every day drivers continue to use their phones while on the road. Talking, texting, taking selfies, scrolling through social media, or even just glancing at a notification inhibits your driving. In fact, every 1 in 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. That’s still too frequent, especially considering many states have laws in place prohibiting the use of phones while driving.
Car Settings That Cause Distracted Driving
Adjusting your seat, playing with the radio, or climate control settings may not seem like a big deal, but it still takes your focus off the road. Before you begin the commute, make sure everything is adjusted comfortably.
Cruising on the highway is not the time to fix your mirror or change a song, if you feel uncomfortable driving, pull over and make adjustments.
Eating or Drinking
This is dangerous because many drivers who eat meals while on the road, do not have complete control over their vehicle’s steering wheel. If you’re holding food in one hand and a drink in the other, you can’t possibly maintain complete control of your vehicle, especially if you need to avoid sudden danger on the road and you are certainly guilty of distracted driving.
Plus, what if you choke while driving? Often people who eat and drive, eat very quickly. Life can get busy, and it’s understandable. However, there’s no reason your hands should be full with food. Take 5 to 10 minutes to relax and eat off the road.
Also known as rubbernecking, things such as, events, flashing signs, or even accidents can cause drivers to avert their eyes to the side of the road. Not only does this cause a slowdown in traffic, but drivers are more prone to hitting other vehicles because they aren’t paying attention. It may be tempting to look at something out of the ordinary, but as a driver, you’re responsible for your actions when you’re behind the wheel. That means both eyes on the road, at all times.
Younger Drivers Aren’t the Only Culprits of Distracted Driving.
Distracted driving is commonly associated with younger drivers because they’re inexperienced and are more connected to technology than ever before.
However, a study by AAA found that older adults are increasingly becoming the culprits of distracted driving. 82 percent of adults, aged 25-39, admitted to using their phones while driving. Even worse, 43 percent of them also admitted to using it regularly while operating a vehicle.
It’s not to say that teens and younger drivers aren’t using their phones or other devices while driving, it’s just that a lot more drivers of different age groups are doing it.
Therefore, don’t assume because you’re a more experienced driver you can safely operate a vehicle and answer an email while on the road.
Anything can happen in an instant, don’t be the reason for your own or someone else’s injuries. Be safe. Keep your eyes on the road, and if you need to answer your phone, eat, or do anything that may hinder your focus on everything around you, pull over.
It may be an inconvenience to pull over, but it can safe your life.
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