The biggest driving distractions and how to avoid them

Posted on 26 November 2018 by Tony Santos

Road traffic accidents can be caused by a number of factors, however, one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents is distracted driving. In 2016, out of 1445 fatal crashes, 140 of those were caused by distractions while driving, according to government statistics.

Anything that involves taking your eyes and hands off the road is known as a distraction. To make you aware of what can cause an accident, we have listed the biggest offending driving distractions and what to do to avoid them.

Mobile phones

Drivers who use a mobile phone are four times more likely to crash, injure or kill themselves than other people, according to research led by the NHTSA. Talking, texting, answering calls on a mobile phone are all distractions which take your eyes off the road. Avoid an accident by keeping your mobile phone out of sight and on silent so it doesn’t distract you. Use Bluetooth rather than requiring handheld use.

Reaching for objects

Reaching for something from the front or backseat can cause a serious accident, as it involves taking your hand and eyes off the road to retrieve the object. If you do need to reach over to get something, wait until it is safe to pull off the road to get it.

Food and drink

Did you know that eating or drinking while driving could result in a £100 fine and three points applied to your licence? Unwrapping, eating food and drinking while driving are dangerous distractions as they involve taking at least one hand off the wheel. If you need to eat a snack or have a drink, find a safe place to pull over.

Music

Although music can be a large part of the driving experience, the downside is that it can significantly affect the quality of your driving if the volume is too high. Loud music in the car can make you less aware of external sound sources that would usually alert you in a quiet car. Changing radio stations can also distract you from driving. Keep your attention on the road by maintaining a low volume and only adjusting the music before you set off on your journey or when you stop.

Passengers

Passengers, including children and pets, can be a major distraction for drivers. To reduce the risk of distraction, think about how the children can keep themselves entertained with toys or audio books to avoid them distracting the driver. Pets must be suitably restrained in your car – a pet seatbelt or carrier will keep your pet away from the driver and will help to keep them safer in a car accident.

By limiting the distractions in the car, you can make sure that your attention is on the road and that everyone in the car is safe in the driver’s hands. If you need to do something that’s distracting, find a safe place to pull over first.

Author Bio: Thompsons Solicitors is one of the top law firms in the UK that specialise in personal injury. Our solicitors have extensive experience in running and winning road accident claims for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who have been injured on the roads.

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