The advent of airbags and seat belts (among other amazing safety features in newer vehicles) has greatly improved vehicle safety. However, despite modern vehicles becoming safer than their earlier counterparts, driving is almost more dangerous than it has ever been. Why? There are far more distractions than ever before.
Here are three types of distractions drivers might experience and how to avoid them. As you learn to avoid distractions while driving, you’ll keep yourself – and everyone else – a little safer while traveling on the road.
There’s a reason drivers must pass a vision test to obtain a license; being able to see clearly while driving is absolutely vital. Still, countless things can get in the way of this.
You can avoid visual disturbances stemming from a problem with the eyes by making annual visits to a licensed optometrist to ensure proper ocular function and health. However, if you begin to experience visual disturbances such as tunnel vision, seeing stars or eye floaters, it’s a good idea to pull over until the symptoms pass. These symptoms are not only distracting, but they usually point to a more serious problem.
The National Eye Institute urges those experiencing visual disturbances to consult their eye doctors to ascertain the cause of the symptoms since some visual disturbances can result in serious problems like retinal detachment.
Other visual distractions can be greatly reduced by wearing proper eyewear, including sunglasses that protect from visible and UV rays. This will protect your eyes from sudden glares and help you to see what’s going on around you, even during peak sunlight hours.
Don’t let your driving become impaired by the countless other visual distractions, either. These are just a few:
• Weather and various types of precipitation
• Pedestrians on the side of the road
• Other vehicles, including accidents
• Diverting too much attention to children or passengers
• Cracks or chips in the vehicle’s windshield
• Any object that obstructs the windshield
In the end, do your best to focus on your driving, wear protective eyewear and ensure that your eyes are healthy and able to function well. It's also imperative that you avoid looking at your cell phone or other devices while driving.
What is a manual distraction? Many of the distractions mentioned previously also fall into this category. Anything that causes you to take your hands off the wheel or your feet off the pedals creates a manual distraction. Distracting yourself by picking up your phone, coffee, lunch or an item dropped on the floor can be dangerous. For instance, if your children are misbehaving in the back seat, reaching back to discipline or help them can become both a visual and manual distraction. These types of distractions – the ones that combine multiple categories – are oftentimes the most dangerous.
Using a technological device behind the wheel is a classic example of a multiple distraction category combination. When a driver looks at their phone, or even the vehicle’s navigation system, and attempts to interact with the technology while driving, it can take their eyes, hands and even mind off the main task at hand.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cellphone use is highest among drivers between the ages of 16-24, but that doesn’t mean older drivers aren’t distracted by their phones, either. In the end, one of the best ways to avoid a collision and other dangerous outcomes is by keeping your phone on silent or out of sight. That way, your eyes, hands and mind are always focused on driving safely.
If you’ve ever driven somewhere and reached your destination with little to no memory of how you got there, you’ve dealt with cognitive distraction while driving. Keeping your mind focused on driving can be an arduous task, particularly during long road trips. But it’s an essential step in maintaining a safe driving pattern.
Examples of cognitive distraction behind the wheel include focusing on problems at work or at home. Some drivers may even become mentally distracted by having an intense conversation with one of their passengers. If you sense that your mind is elsewhere while you’re driving, take a moment to regroup and recommit your focus to the road ahead. If you’re worried about finding your destination, using hands-free navigation can be useful; the feature is common in many vehicles today, even on the used-car market. Driving a car that’s having mechanical problems can also be a source of distraction on a cognitive, visual and even manual level.
Cut down on distractions while you drive, and opt for a vehicle you feel safe in. If your vehicle is functioning well, then you can, too. Save money and find the best deal on a car by visiting Ancira Auto Group today.