There’s no doubt that Americans are pressed for time these days. It’s not at all unusual to see a distracted driver on their way to work munching on a breakfast sandwich while weaving in and out of traffic. This type of distracted driving is a sure fire recipe for a costly and, possibly, deadly accident. If safety is foremost in your mind, there are certain, commonsense practices you should avoid doing while driving your car. Here are some “distracted driving” practices to stay away from.
Distracted driving practices: Using your car as a beauty spa
Unfortunately, some people wake up too late in the morning and don’t have enough time to primp and preen before they leave the house. So, their rear view mirror serves double duty as a makeup mirror while they dutifully apply their requisite coats of Great Lash mascara. Some people apply their entire face while driving from home to work each morning. If you want to avoid a major accident, get up ten minutes earlier and fix your face before you leave the house.
Distracted driving practices: Cell phone stupidity
Cell phones certainly make life easier, sometimes too easy. What did people do before they had these handheld marvels of technology? Probably had fewer accidents. Not only are you distracted when you lower your head to dial the number, but it’s easy to become so absorbed in the conversation that you miss traffic signs and lights or forget to brake and slam into the car in front of you. Even more concerning is the use of text messaging while driving. One study showed that people using handheld devices while driving are just as impaired as those driving drunk, yet cell phones are still legal. Makes you wonder.
Distracted driving practice: Using your car to dine
Sure, everyone needs to eat, but not when they’re driving. It’s highly unlikely a person will be able to react quickly when they’re holding a Big Mac in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. Not only is eating while driving a risk to life and limb, it’s also bad for digestion.
Distracted driving practices: Using your car as a library
Yes, believe it or not, there are people who read while driving. Would it surprise you to learn that forty percent of people engage in some form of reading or writing while cruising around town? Anything from making lists to reading a magazine for pleasure were noted when in-car video cameras were used to see what people did in their cars. Do yourself a favor and get an audiobook to keep you stimulated when you’re on the road.
Distracted driving practices: Arguing with kids
Kids can be a big distraction when you’re driving. When an argument erupts in the back seat, it’s tempting to whip your head around to intervene. Those few seconds of distraction can be all it takes for a major accident to occur. Keep the kids buckled in and pull the car over before taking disciplinary action if your kids are in the car.
The bottom line? When you’re driving, focus on the task at hand. Distracted driving can not only raise your insurance rates but could be a quick ticket to the cemetery. Don’t take chances when you’re behind the wheel.