Driving is a nice and safe experience if only you maintain the required focus and concentration on the road. But to maintain proper focus and concentration, you will have to avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving has many consequences, like low driver performance, increased risk of collisions, higher insurance premiums, and fines or criminal penalties.
Perhaps you are a new driver without knowledge of various driving distractions and how to avoid them. Here is a detailed discussion of common distractions for drivers and some of the ways you can avoid them.
Sometimes, you can have unruly passengers who can make it difficult for you to pay attention while on the road. Fights in the car, loud music, and noises are some of the ways unruly passengers can distract you as a driver. Conversations with the passengers can also distract your mind and make you lose focus.
One way to prevent distractions, especially from unruly passengers, is to pull over to the road's side and politely request them to exit your vehicle. Also, do not allow loud music, heavy conversations, or direct eye contact with the passengers while behind the wheel.
While vehicle controls like GPS systems, audio systems, and mirrors can enhance your safety on the road, their unnecessary adjustments can cause distractions. For example, the use of a phone to set up a GPS destination while behind the wheel can result in a disaster. The adjustment of such controls will force you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
One way to avoid distractions from such controls is to set and adjust them before you start any journey. Also, you shouldn't drive any newer vehicle model without being clear on how to adjust its controls.
Cell Phone Distractions
Sometimes even though you are behind the wheel, the urge to check your phone when a notification comes through can be irresistible. A reflexive response can make you automatically reach out to your phone for a text, call, or email. Unfortunately, a cell phone will cause your eyes, hands, and mind to get distracted simultaneously.
To avoid distractions from your cell phone, ensure you don't use it while behind the wheel. You can turn the cell phone silent, put it in the back of your vehicle, or have a passenger handle it as you drive. Also, you can use a self-locking app or even pull over to a rest stop to reply to a text if necessary.
Children and Pet Distractions
While it's always nice to go on a road trip with your child or pet, they may demand your attention and make it hard for you to focus on the road somewhere along the journey.
One way to avoid distractions from your child or pet is to buckle them properly before you start your trip. Also, adequate preparation of your child or pet for any road trip — taking care of snacks and potty breaks in advance — will help prevent their disturbance and give you peace of mind when on the road.
Negative emotions like stress are key cognitive distractions that face many drivers today. Stress can not only take your mind away from the road but also make you drive more aggressively or offensively. Also, stress can sometimes make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or drowsy while behind the wheel.
A deep breath can help calm your nerves and reduce stress while behind the wheel. You can also plan ahead, listen to some calm music, take a break, or ask someone else to drive as ways to manage stress when on the road.
The discussed distractions can make you violate traffic rules, which will likely get you compelled to attend traffic school. Nonetheless, the earlier you learn and avoid them, the better your experience on the road. So, if you want a high-quality driving school for your training, reach us out at Tricounty Driving School.