You probably have heard many times that it only takes a second to get involved in an accident. Even when you are fully concentrating on your driving auto crashes may be unavoidable at times due to weather and mistakes by other drivers. It is always worth remembering that accidents are generally combination of several things. When you are paying attention to something else you add another factor to the equation.
Manufacturers try hard to come up with smarter cars these days. They can detect problems, warn drivers and can be instrumental in avoiding hazards on the roads. Government and other organizations spend money to reduce traffic related deaths. Self-driving cars are probably a few years away and we don’t know how they will turn out. In the meantime, our driving skills are still the most reliable tools to keep us safe.
Therefore, it is important that we take driving more seriously. Learn about possible distractions and how to avoid them. These are the behaviors we wouldn’t approve when we see others doing. But we may not think much of it when we are doing the same mistakes. For example, surveys show that drivers are quick to recognise that texting is dangerous. Yet the same drivers admit to texting or reading text while driving. Here are some of the distractions that can cause accidents, thousands of dollars damages to our vehicles or even death.
Texting while Driving (TWD)
We become inseparable from our cell phones and there is nothing wrong with that, except while driving. Some people can become addicted to texting that they may not even realize what they are doing. If you are one of those people the safer thing to do is to turn your phone off. Or download an app that will turn it off for you the moment auto movement is detected.
If parents see their teenage children playing with their phones while driving they would probably shout their head off. However, adults are guilty of texting behind the steering wheel as well. What sort of example does it set? What message can be more important that people’s lives? Be smart about it and don’t even think of fooling around with your cell phone.
Another mistake with texting is that people think they will not get caught. It is a traffic offence in most states to text. But it is not easy to detect and issue tickets. This is slowly changing as federal government and state authorities are coming up with smart ideas like watching drivers from bridges and unmarked SUVs. However, being sensible about it and restraining yourself is always the best solution.
According to some reports texting is the cause of more than ten percent of fatal crashes. However, this number is probably much higher. Drivers are not likely to accept that they have been texting just before the accident and you cannot ask a dead person what he/she was doing just before. There is a new term because of the obvious dangers and it is “driving while intexicated”. Studies reveal that TWD is much more likely to cause accidents than driving intoxicated.
Day dreaming while working may reduce your performance. But it would be much more dangerous if you are lost in a different world while driving. According to some reports being generally distracted poses the highest accident risk. This can be a bigger problem when you are in a traffic jam or slow moving traffic.
When you get tired you lose your concentration and therefore, you should regularly take breaks on long journeys. Sleep deprivation can be another reason for quickly going a world away from the driver seat. You should be extra careful with some of the medications that cause drowsiness too. You shouldn’t drive after taking them.
Watching Others and Outside
Watching the road can get boring and something else catches your eyes quickly. A couple fighting in another car can suddenly become your entertainment. Watching an accident on the road can result in a new accident. There are birds, animals, houses, road signs, advertisements and so many other things that catch our attention.
This can quickly turn into a habit and your eyes constantly look for something interesting rather than watching the road. Have you ever been told that you watch around too much while driving? Take notice of your bad habits and try to fix them before they become a constant threat.
Distractions within Cars
Children, pets, friends, spouses and anything else that moves, talks and make noises in the car can cause distractions for drivers. Older drivers are known to be distracted more by their pets. Parents with young children may have to learn to deal with their demands and screams if they want to drive the family around safely.
Training and restraining pets and children are always a good idea. If you feel the need to attend your children you should make a safe stop before attempting anything. You may be proud with your multi-tasking abilities in your home or workplace but you shouldn’t test these skills while driving. A dropped children’s toy can wait until you find a safe spot. And sometimes you may have to let the children be.
Another problem is people in the car who are distracting the driver with their comments and criticisms. They are called “backseat drivers”. Psychiatrists suggest that someone is clearly uncomfortable with the way you drive and that is why they feel the need to interfere. Most husbands or wives are familiar with their spouses stepping on an imaginary brake or steering clear of dangers in their head with their imaginary steering wheels.
If you are with a backseat driver try to calm them down by reducing your speed and keeping your distance from the vehicle in front. If you are the backseat driver you should remember that you are not probably helping. If you must say something you may say it kindly without agitating the driver.
Playing with Radio, Air Conditioning and Satellite Navigation
Constantly looking for something to fiddle with is a bad driving habit. Today we have much better stereo systems, air conditioning and cars that can control them on your voice command. But, people will find something else to interfere with and keep themselves occupied rather than looking at the road. We need to accept that we should keep our concentration for driving no matter how hard it is.
Drinking, Eating and Smoking
Everyone has busy lives these days and we always try to get somewhere quick. However, we can probably spare ten minutes and eat our burger, chips, drink our beverages and smoke a cigarette if we are a smoker. Anything else you are doing while driving is something that takes your attention away. Eating, drinking and smoking are distractions we can easily avoid.
In addition to obvious problems with them they have the potential to spill, drop and burn that can surprise drivers to result in uncontrolled arm and leg movements. Burgers with ketchups, oily and salty chips that make you thirsty are not good for driving.
Accidents and Auto Insurance Rates
Accidents have the potential of causing financial losses, injuries and death to you and others. They must be avoided at all costs. We really don’t need to get involved in a big accident to know the seriousness of it. Traffic accidents are still one of the biggest causes of deaths in developed countries.
Many people think that small fender benders are not a big deal. However, they do affect your auto insurance rates especially when you have several of them recently. When you see your rates increase after an accident you can go to car insurance comparison websites like Cheap Auto Insurance .net and get a few quotes to reduce them down again. But the fact is that accidents in your record will follow you and keep affecting your premiums for at least three years.
It may all start with losing your concentration for a few seconds and result in serious financial losses, injuries and further costs in the form of increased automobile insurance premiums. Driving is an endeavor that requires your attention all the time. It is not alright to have a quick look at your texts and it is not excusable that you don’t do it often. Pay attention to avoid the consequences.
As well as your own life you will be risking the lives of your passengers and other innocent road users. Would you be able to carry that burden on your conscious for the rest of your life? Be attentive, concentrate on your driving and leave all the other activities to later on. Set your navigation, radio, answer your texts and deal with your children and pets before you start so that you can be ready for the road.Distractions While Driving, Accidents and Car Insurance Rates,