Distractions. They are unavoidable in life, but they can be dangerous or even deadly when you’re driving. Distractions can occur outside the car, inside the car, or simply in your head. They can yell at you, “Pay attention to me!” when the reality is that you must be completely focused when driving.
Driver distraction is quickly becoming a major cause of death on American highways, and this also accounts for a sizable proportion of non-fatal accidents that occur each year.
Cell phones have played a significant role in the recent rise in inattention-related accidents. This is not to say that mobile phones are the only source of driver distraction. Anything transporting a pet or young children in a car to conversing with a passenger can significantly impair driving ability.
As a result, staying focused while driving can be more difficult than it appears.
Driving has become such a routine part of many of our lives that it has largely become a mindless task. We may drive to work, pick up the kids from school, or drive long distances on road trips without giving much thought to the actual task of driving. But the truth is that operating on “autopilot” is extremely dangerous.
Tips to remain focused while driving
Why should you avoid distractions when driving? Those seemingly innocuous distractions have the potential to cause a collision, and this isn’t just a possibility.
Here are some of our favorite strategies for ignoring distractions and focusing on the task at hand:
Train your mind to remain focused while driving
In this age of multitasking, we expect our brains to be able to handle eating, talking on the phone, and doing work simultaneously. It’s easy to fall into the habit of not focusing entirely on one activity. While this is unlikely to be dangerous while sitting at your desk, losing focus behind the wheel could have disastrous consequences. So practice concentrating on only one task at a time. You will undoubtedly notice an improvement in your concentration abilities.
Plan ahead of time
Schedule it before you start your car. Whether it’s your favorite radio show, a special album, or an audiobook. If you are using a GPS, take a few minutes ahead of time to program it.
Set aside the treats for later
Do you remember the Flash rescue scene in ‘Zack Synder’s Justice League’? Do you get hungry when you’re driving? Those few distracted moments when you reach for a bag of potato chips – or, worse, trying to clean up a spilled juice – can cost you more than you realize. Eat nothing while driving. Remember there is no Flash to come to your rescue!
Grooming sessions for yourself
This one is simple: don’t do your hair while driving. Put on your lipstick or mascara after you’ve parked.
Keep your pet safe to remain focused while driving
Are you traveling with your pet? Your “best friend” should not distract you while driving. This is whether you’re taking them to the vet or going for a walk in the park. Make sure your pet is safely harnessed or in a traveling cage, so they don’t hurt themselves or distract you while you’re driving. To know more tips about driving safely with a pet, you can read here.
Put your phone away
You’ve probably heard it so many times that you’ve mentally tuned it out, but it’s true: your phone is your enemy while driving. Please turn it off, set it to mute, or store it in the trunk of your car, but keep it out of your hands while driving. Turn on Do Not Disturb while driving.
Remove minor hazards
Loose items in the car, such as a wobbly grocery bag or a rolling flashlight, can also be a source of distraction. You don’t want an orange rolling under your feet while driving, so double-check that everything is in its proper place before starting the car.
When driving with other people, ask them to assist you in staying focused. You’ll concentrate on the road better if they don’t distract you while driving. So, whether it’s your toddler pleading for your attention or your best friend spilling juicy gossip, let them know that your top priority is getting to your destination safely.
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