Sometimes people start multitasking while driving without even realizing it. Because it is so common for people to have a quick snack, check their GPS or have a conversation with their passengers while driving, they may not recognize their behavior as being a distraction.
An understanding of what qualifies as a distraction may help people to monitor their activity while driving to avoid any behavior that may divert their attention away from the road.
Watching for hazards
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day in the United States, upward of 1,000 people fall victim to car accidents where distraction played a role. Additionally, nearly 9 people suffer fatal injuries every day because of distracted driving in the US.
When people are not paying attention while driving, common occurrences that would not otherwise pose a threat may turn into an immediate danger. For example, if a person is driving and the light ahead of them turns red, they would notice it immediately by actively watching it. However, if their attention is on returning a text or grabbing a water bottle that rolled to the floor, their split-second distraction may cost them their life.
Focusing on safety
Drivers who focus all of their attention on driving safely and responsibly have much less to worry about than those who try to multitask behind the wheel. AAA Exchange recommends several helpful tips for people to consider in their effort to avoid distracted driving. These include the following:
- People should designate a “safe place” for all electronic devices before starting their vehicle
- People should set aside enough time to finish personal grooming before they leave home
- People should customize their car seat and controls for optimal comfort and function
- People should tend to the needs of small children and pets to reduce interruptions
When driving with passengers, people may benefit from keeping the music low, as well as encouraging soft and controlled conversation.