Reducing the likelihood of getting in an accident is crucial for all drivers, from new drivers to experienced motorists. One of the most common causes of car accidents is distracted driving. There’s a lot going on in the world, in the car and on our phone that it’s easy to become distracted. Be aware of what may be distracting you to cut down on your chances of being in an accident.
It may come as a surprise, but phones are not the leading cause of distracted driving—it’s actually food. This is in part due to the fact that there are no regulations in cities on food, while some areas restrict or ban phones while driving. Sometimes if you go through the drive-thru on the way to work, it’s tempting to unwrap your burrito or burger and eat as you go so that you’re done by the time you arrive. This can cause accidents, though, as it takes up your attention and your hands from the steering wheel.
Of course, cell phones are still a big distraction for drivers. Whether you’re using your GPS or checking a text, looking away to read something on your phone can make you miss another car or sign on the road. If you use your phone as a GPS, it’s recommended that you have it hooked in a stationary position that allows you to drive hand-free.
Even when you’re just taking your dog to the vet, pets can be a distraction. One, because they’re so cute, and two, because unsecured pets can roam the car and draw your attention away from the road. Pets should always be secured when being transported to avoid accidents or distraction.
Other people in the car can be just as distracting. Conversations or arguments can take your attention away from the road. Kids especially can be distracting, ether they’re singing, arguing or making a mess. Obviously, there’s no real way to control other people, but you can cut down on the distractions by limiting who can be in your car and having a clear view through your rearview mirror to keep an eye on children or anyone else in the back.
Overall, make sure you’re driving defensively, keeping your hands on the wheel and avoiding distractions. Car accidents are frightening, but mostly avoidable so long as you drive responsibly. Being a safe driver can also lead to discounts on your auto insurance too!