Just about everyone recognizes that typing or reading on a cellphone while driving is a dangerous behavior. However, distracted driving does not just involve mobile technology. There are other forms of distraction that could increase your risk of a crash that you may not even realize are dangerous.
The following five examples are all behaviors that drivers commonly engage in at the wheel without understanding that it could lead to a crash that hurts them.
- Drinking a coffee or eating a snack
Your vehicle comes with cup holders, which seems to imply that enjoying drinks while driving is acceptably safe. There are times when you can potentially safely take a sip of your coffee, such as when stopped at a red light.
Still, it is possible that even taking one hand off the wheel to grab a cup will put you at risk of a delayed reaction. Eating can be even more dangerous because it often requires taking both hands off the wheel.
- Talking on the phone or with passengers
Simply investing in a hands-free headset does not make it safe for you to talk on the phone while driving. In fact, you don’t have to be using a phone to communicate for a conversation to be a source of distraction.
The more energetic the conversation becomes, the more of your focus it will demand. You need to keep your eyes and your mind focused on the task of driving. Save the emotional or intense conversations for when you reach your destination.
- Interacting with built-in screens
Some drivers are under the impression that built-in technology, such as a GPS system above their radio controls, is safer than a mobile phone or other forms of technology they bring into the vehicles. Any time you focus on pushing buttons, you take attention away from driving safely.
- Reaching into the backseat or taking time to groom yourself
Some people try to cut down on the time they take to get ready for work in the morning by managing certain tasks in their vehicles. Putting on your tie, brushing your hair and applying makeup are all jobs that you should handle before you leave your house because you simply cannot do them safely while also driving a car.
- Daydreaming or thinking about anything else
Internal distraction may not be as obvious as when someone has their eyes glued to a phone or both their hands off the wheel, but letting your mind wander completely away from the task of driving means you won’t notice issues near your vehicle when they occur.
Although driving can feel tedious, it is a safety-critical task. The best way for you to protect yourself from getting into a crash is to focus completely on driving safely until you reach your destination.