Driving while distracted can be almost as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. However, few people see it that way, and some who would strongly condemn drinking and driving think nothing of eating while driving or using smartphones behind the wheel.
But avoiding driving distractions should be a high priority, especially in situations involving heavy traffic, fast highway speeds or newly licensed drivers.
What is distracted driving?
One problem with avoiding driving distractions is that many people don’t even realize that they’re distracted. Taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel are certainly bad ideas, but being mentally distracted can be just as dangerous. Hands-free cell phone use, for instance, is not significantly safer than holding the phone. Your mind is just as focused on the conversation — and if it’s focused on the conversation, it’s not focused on the task of driving.
Besides being dangerous, some types of distracted driving are also illegal. Distracted driving laws vary depending on the state or city, or on the situation, such as driving through school zones.
Tips for avoiding driving distractions
To keep your eyes, mind and car on the road, follow these tips:
- Don’t use the phone while driving. Period. If the call or text is important enough to take, it’s important enough to pull over.
- Get everyone buckled in before driving. That includes putting pets in pet carriers.
- Make all seat, mirror and control adjustments before setting out.
- Stow any loose objects that could roll around on the floor or seats.
- Stop to eat. You can eat in the car, just not while driving.
- Know where you’re going. If you’re using a navigation system, set it to give the directions audibly.
- Don’t drive sleepy. It lowers your attention level, and closed eyes are very distracting.
Some new vehicles also come with technological features that help with avoiding driving distractions. Some even monitor how aware and alert you are. To learn more, or to find a new lease vehicle that will grab your attention, please contact us at Swapalease.com.
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