If you drive to and from your job every day, you’re probably used to it. Some people are more comfortable on the road, while others never really take to it, no matter how much experience they get.
Still, in many cities, you have to drive to get to where you want to go. There might not be many buses, trains, or other public transportation options.
You can always take a ride share vehicle like Uber or Lyft, but that can get expensive. Having your own vehicle is usually your best bet, so you need to normalize car ownership.
You should be a responsible driver, and that means not letting anything distract you. Distracted driving accidents happen every day in this country, and you don’t want that to happen to you.
Let’s go over some typical driving distractions and talk about how to avoid them.
If you want to avoid distracted driving, satellite radio is one of the first places you might look. You don’t see cassette decks or CD players in cars much anymore, and in some ways, satellite radio is great. You can:
- Listen to hundreds of different stations
- Listen to podcasts
That can allow you to tolerate the commute a lot better most days. You can listen to some of your favorite music or find some new artists to love.
The only problem is if you’re trying to adjust the radio station in heavy traffic. If you’re flying down the highway doing seventy, you shouldn’t be trying to change the station.
That’s potentially a dangerous distracted driving situation. Wait until you stop at a red light before you try to find a new station. If you take your eyes away from the road for just a moment while the vehicle is in motion, you can crash.
You love your kids, but if you get in a car with a couple of toddlers, it can be an adventure. Your kids might:
- Cry or scream at you from the backseat
- Try to remove their seatbelts or throw food or toys
If you have perfect little angels, you never need to worry about this type of thing. However, not many parents can truly say that.
Before you leave your house, you need to stress to your kids that when you’re driving, they need to let you concentrate, for your sake and theirs. If they’re too young to understand that, probably the best move is to give them a snack, toy, video game, etc., that will occupy them during the drive.
Maybe you’re taking your dog to the vet, or you’re driving them to daycare so they can socialize and blow off some steam. If you have a young dog, this isn’t a bad idea a couple of times per week if you can afford it.
The only issue is if your pet doesn’t behave well in the car. If your dog is jumping around in the backseat or barking out the window, that could distract you and cause an accident.
You can use a seatbelt to restrain your dog if necessary. That way, at least they are staying in one place while you drive. Perhaps they’re still barking, but you can yell at them to be quiet without taking your eyes off the road.
Most people have smartphones these days, and some individuals are borderline addicted to them. Perhaps you can’t go more than a few moments without checking your email, your stocks, or your text messages.
When you’re driving is not the time to do anything with your phone. You should not be texting, trying to call someone, or bidding on a new sweater on eBay.
Make sure to put the phone down and don’t so much as look at it when you’re driving. If it makes a noise signaling you got a text or email, wait till you get to your destination before you look at what’s going on. That can save your life or the life of another driver or pedestrian.
There are other things that can distract you, like Bluetooth communications or trying to eat some McNuggets while driving. Whether it’s food, technology, pets, or kids, the road ahead should get your total focus.
Even if you consider yourself to be an excellent driver, just one mistake can cost you some serious money or points on your license. You want to prevent an accident before it happens, and knowing about these potential distractions is one way to do that.