Every single day, thousands of people across America are involved in auto accidents, leading to approximately 100 daily deaths and countless injuries too, with lives ended and families broken simply due to the carelessness, negligence, or recklessness of certain road users.
There can be many causes and factors leading up to any crash or collision. The weather can play a part, for example, with rainy conditions reducing visibility and making roads slippery, and substances like alcohol and drugs can impair a driver’s reaction times and concentration levels.
Distractions are another serious issue that can massively increase one’s risks of being involved in an accident. In fact, statistics show that tens of thousands of deaths occur each and every year because of distracted driving.
In the modern world, where almost everyone owns and uses a phone each day and countless new cars are equipped with all kinds of touchscreen gadgets and distracting devices, it’s easy for drivers to lose their focus. Here are some ways you can prevent distracted driving and stay safe.
Never Use Your Phone
When it comes to in-car distractions in the modern era, your smartphone is the primary culprit. People use their phones for absolutely everything these days, from keeping in touch with friends and colleagues to checking sports scores, weather forecasts, news updates, and more, and it’s not uncommon for the average person to spend hours every day staring at the screen of their phone.
However, when it comes to driving, it’s important to leave your phone to one side or make use of a simple hands-free set, and never try picking it up and typing out messages while keeping one hand on the wheel. If you need to make a call or text or use your phone for anything else, be sure to pull over safely beforehand.
Following on from the previous point, it’s important to understand that your phone can be a real risk while driving, but it does have a positive side; there are various mobile apps you can download and set-up to actually help to improve your driving abilities and make it safer for you to get around from place to place.
GPS apps, for example, can guide you to your destination without forcing you to worry about missing turns and scanning every street sign you pass, while safe driving apps can let you know if you’re braking too sharply or accelerating over the speed limit. Be sure to set these apps up before you start the car, however, and don’t play around with the phone while you’re actually driving.
Avoid In-Depth Discussions or Arguments
Having a passenger or two in your vehicle can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s great to have another set of eyes and ears to help you navigate long journeys, as well as being able to talk to you and keep your entertained while getting from point A to point B. On the other hand, other passengers might actually start to distract you in some situations.
There’s nothing wrong with talking to your passengers while you drive and many drivers actually say this helps them stay focused and avoid tiredness. However, try to keep the conversation light and simple, avoiding in-depth discussions that could lower your concentration levels on the road or fiery arguments that could affect your reactions and decision-making.
Keep Calm and Collected
Following on from the previous point, as well as not letting yourself get angry or involved in any arguments with your passengers, it’s also important to not allow yourself to become enraged or frustrated by the actions of other drivers.
This can be a challenge at times, especially if other drivers are failing to use signals, changing lanes without warning, or breaking the rules of the road. However, giving in to road rage can make you much more likely to be distracted, focusing purely on that one other vehicle and failing to notice upcoming hazards or other road users around you. Try to remain calm and collected at all times.
Distracted driving causes a large number of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities every single year, so it’s vital to do all you can to avoid it. Nobody wants to end up in an accident over something as simple as checking their phone or trying to drink a coffee while sitting in traffic, so remember to always pull over if you need to take your hands off the wheel and follow the above tips to stay safe.