Losing Focus While Driving: Prevention Tips and Tricks
Distracted driving is something that all drivers are guilty of engaging in at some point. Whether it's looking away from the road to read a text message or even eating while driving, being distracted behind the wheel can put yourself and others at serious risk.
When you have a better understanding of just how serious a problem losing focus while driving can be, as well as some of the most common causes of distracted driving, you can take the right measures to reduce your risk and protect yourself. All of this, combined with having the right auto insurance coverage to protect yourself against other distracted drivers, can make all the difference.
Losing Focus While Driving: A Common Danger
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in the United States in 2016 alone. Unfortunately, many drivers who engage in distracted driving are in denial about the dangers.
So, what are some the specific dangers of losing focus while driving? Consider, for starters, just how much can go wrong in a split second while behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds could be disastrous. A car in front of you could need to slam on its brakes to avoid a collision, and if you're not paying attention, your reaction time will be slowed down and you could end up running your car into the back of the vehicle in front of you—causing serious accident or injury.
Taking your eyes off the road for even a second could also leave you unable to react in time if a pedestrian walks out in front your vehicle. That split second looking away from the road could also cause you to miss a traffic light turning red or prevent you from seeing a stop sign, resulting in a potentially serious accident that could forever change the lives of those involved.
What if you're driving on a deserted road in the middle of the night? If there's no traffic around you, then taking your eyes off the road to read a text message is harmless enough, isn't it? Think again. You never know when a deer or other wild animal could run out in front of your car—and if you're not paying attention, you won't have time to stop. Another potential danger could occur if your vehicle veers off the road because of your lack of focus. You could end up striking a road barrier, a parked car, or another stationary object and get into a serious accident.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
When many people think of distracted driving, they tend to think about using their cell phones to text, check social media, or even take pictures while driving. And while it's true that cell phone use is the most common form of distracted driving (resulting in more than 400 deaths a year in the United States), it's far from the only form.
Some other common forms of distracted driving that you may be guilty of behind the wheel may include:
- grooming while driving (brushing hair or putting on makeup, for example)
- eating or drinking while driving
- being distracted by loud or rowdy passengers
- being distracted by loud music
- driving while sleep deprived or drowsy
How many of these have you been guilty of?
Avoiding Inattentive Driving: What You Need to Know
Almost all drivers have been guilty of inattentive driving at some point or another, and most commit these actions on a regular basis. If any of the above forms of distracted driving sound familiar to you, it's time to take measures to stay more focused on the road.
Start by eliminating the temptation to use your phone while driving. As soon as you get into your car, place your phone on silent and put your phone somewhere you won't see it, such as a glove box or purse. If your phone has a hands-free phone integration feature, you might consider using it to make calls or even listen to text messages more safely.
Furthermore, pledge to yourself that you will avoid other forms of distracted driving by never eating behind the wheel. If you need to eat or engage in any activity that takes your focus off the road, pull over to a safe place.
Make Sure You're Protected From Distracted Drivers
There's a lot you can to do avoid causing a distracted driving accident. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do to protect yourself from accidents caused by distracted drivers. This is where taking the time to review your auto insurance coverage is a must. Make sure you have plenty of protection to keep you covered in the event that you're injured (or your car is damaged) due to the actions of a distracted driver.