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Everyone knows the dangers of driving impaired and the statistics that accompany drunk driving or buzzed driving.
We are warned over and over again to not drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. But do we ever think about how other distractions can impair us? There are approximately ninety deaths and over six thousand injuries from car accidents every day. What are some of the things that we can do to reduce these numbers?
Eating food, putting on makeup, putting the finishing touches on your outfit, or fussing with your hair may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough to take your attention away from the road. When you are looking in the mirror to see what you look like or looking for your food, you take your attention off the road and it will require twice the distance to react and stop. All it takes is a second of distraction, so take the extra time to finish everything at home so you can give the road your full attention.
If your car is really messy, it can cause some serious problems. Things shifting or falling in your car can distract you if it makes a sudden noise. You also run the risk of breaking important things if you leave them in your car. Additionally, if something like a bottle or a box gets slips under your brake pedal without your notice, you won’t be able to stop as quickly as you need to. Keep your car clean and free from breakable objects.
Your phone is probably the number one distraction in your car, no matter how you use it. When you are looking at your phone, even if some of your attention is on the road, you are still distracted. Even hands-free texting or phone calls can be distracting. It is best if you simply don’t touch your phone while you are driving. It may seem stupid, but if you really do need to make a phone call or send a text, pull over. Your life and the lives of others on the road are worth more than a couple seconds of time.
Sleep deprivation can also lead to some serious distraction and impairment on the road. How many time have you been driving and you arrive at your destination with no memory of part of the trip? You are more likely to zone out if you are tired, and it can be hard to keep your eyes open. If you know you have to drive somewhere, make sure you get enough sleep the night before.
It may seem inconvenient to take these steps to not be distracted while you are driving, but it can save your life. Start building these habits now so you don’t have to deal with a tragedy in the future.