What Are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?
Bob Gorman

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Hundreds of accidents occur across the nation each year. Many car accidents are minor, such as fender benders, but more serious problems do occur. Fatalities in nearly every age group are reported by the authorities as cars collide for various reasons. One of the most common reasons for car accidents today is distracted driving. The lack of attention placed on the road ahead only leads to trouble. Learn more about distracted driving and its impact on your safety. Driving is always a complex skill that requires your undivided attention.

Common Distractions on the Road

Newer cars come with every electronic gadget imaginable. From GPS to touchscreens, your attention has many routes it can take. Common distractions on the road include the radio, GPS systems, and your cell phone. Simply picking up the device takes your attention away from the road as you look at the item. Answering the phone or texting also adds to your distraction.

The dashboard is just one facet of distracted driving. Your passengers can also pose problems. Conversations that get out of hand will pull your gaze away from the road. You might get emotional at some point. Crying is a proven distraction that leads to accidents at any time of day.

Other distractions may seem comical to some people, but they do exist. Reading, writing, watching videos and applying makeup are observed distractions by scientists. If you're tired, your attention on the road is already diverted to yawning and keeping your eyes open. Remember these distractions so that you can be on the lookout for them during a future road trip.

Dangers Lurking Ahead

Looking away from the road for only a few seconds can lead to disaster. You can wander into another lane and strike a vehicle. If you're in the left lane on a two-lane road, a head-on collision might occur. Sideswiping inanimate objects, such as stop signs or guardrails, is also a possibility.

Your distraction time is also influenced by your speed. At lower speeds, you have fewer chances at striking an object. However, high speeds put you at a greater risk. Your car passes by more objects at higher speeds. If you're distracted for a long time, more objects become obstacles in your pathway.

Striking an object damages your car and the item, but there are other dangers to be aware of during any trip. Pedestrians in a crosswalk can end up in your crosshairs if you're distracted. Barreling through this area can injure or fatally wound a person. This scenario is all too common for drivers who continue to look at their phones or carry on with their personal grooming.

Alleviating the Situation

Every driver must be proactive when it comes to distracted driving. They must consciously tell themselves to ignore the cell phone ringing nearby. A clever way to make this scenario easier is by shutting off the ringer as you drive. You won't realize that the phone is even ringing with this trick.

Discuss your safety concerns with your passengers. They don't have to be completely silent during the drive. Ask them, however, to maintain calm voices with subjects that aren't too controversial. You can still listen and enjoy the conversation, but it won't distract you from the road.

Be a prepared driver by performing any necessary tasks well before you start the engine. Program in your GPS coordinates before the drive. Apply makeup and fix your clothing before slipping behind the wheel. When you feel prepared for the road and your destination, there won't be any distractions impacting your safety.

While you might see multitasking in the car as a productive maneuver, it can lead to accidents and possible fatalities. Keep in mind that everything outside of driving can wait when you're behind the wheel. Maintain your focus on the road. Return calls, change radio stations and talk to your friends when the car is safely parked or pulled over to the side. You'll ultimately save lives on the road with this strategy.

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