6 Driving Distractions You Can Avoid to Decrease Risks on the Road
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and has become a more prominent killer than drunk driving. Unfortunately, with improved technology of smartphones and the constant connection we have to others via social media, distracted driving is happening more and more often. Unfortunately, while everyone thinks that life-altering moment will happen to someone else, and not to them, the reality is that it will inevitably happen to someone and will affect more than just the one person. The Tempe mechanics at Scottsdale Muffler have put together a few tips to help reduce distractions in your vehicle while driving, to increase the chance you make it to your destination alive and in one piece.
Put the Phone Away.
It is best to keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road ahead at all times while driving. Using your phone for texts, the next tunes, social media, or even simple phone calls causes your mind to be distracted away from the priority task at hand – driving. Use your phone for emergencies only while driving, and if possible, pull off the road to the shoulder if you need to make a call.
Challenge yourself to tuck the phone into your purse or somewhere out of sight so you are not tempted to respond to a text or check notifications while driving, even while at a stoplight. Keep in mind that while hands-free devices are certainly a better option, they still pose a distraction risk since your mind is engaged elsewhere.
Pull Over If You Are Sleepy.
Statistics show that drivers are 4 times more likely to end up in a severe accident if driving while they are sleepy. It is easy to doze off and start drifting before you even realize it is happening. While you may think that you are okay to make it 15 minutes home, it will be better for you (and other drivers!) to just stay where you are to take a nap, or pull off the road. Rather than trying to make it home faster, you are protecting yourself and the other drivers on the road from a severe, or fatal, accident.
The more people you have in your vehicle, the more distracted you will be while driving down the road. This is especially true for newly licensed drivers. Being distracted by friends, conversation, exciting music, or the destination can all take your focus off the road and safe driving techniques. While it can be difficult to enforce, make the wise decision and limit how many passengers you allow in the vehicle while driving.
Just like limiting passengers in the vehicle, avoid checking items off your to-do list while driving. Limit your activities such as changing the radio, putting on makeup, eating food, and checking your text messages. The less activities occurring around you while driving, the less focused you are on the road, which means the less likely you will make it to your destination safe and sound.
If at all possible, avoid eating while driving your vehicle. This is an extremely distracting activity that takes your focus off the road and hands off the wheel. Not to mention, the extreme potential for food or drink to spill on you or inside your vehicle, causing further distraction. How will you remain calm and drive safely if you spill burning hot coffee on your lap? If you are in a hurry to get to work or school, it makes sense to save time by eating in the car, but in reality, you are doing yourself a disservice. Think twice before getting in your car to drive with a meal in your hand; it can make all the difference.
Finish Tasks Before Driving.
While you may feel accomplished by multi-tasking while driving, avoid doing this if possible. Put your makeup on at home before leaving for work or school. Finish eating before heading out. Line up the playlist of tunes you want to hear. Catch up on texts, emails, phone calls, and notifications before starting to drive. Finish your grocery list before heading to the store. Whatever your task, get it done beforehand so that your mind can be singularly focused on driving safely and getting to your destination. When you get into the driver’s seat, pause to think through your mental checklist before starting the vehicle. Is there anything you forgot or could do right away before starting to drive? This extra step will go a long way in protecting you from an accident due to distracted driving.
It is vital that you stay safe while driving, so keep your focus on the road where it belongs, and not on anything else that may be happening. If you have too much going on, make the decision not to drive until a later time, or ask a friend to drive you instead. At Scottsdale Muffler, we will always treat you with priority and respect. As an affordably priced, family-owned and operated Tempe repair shop, Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive carries a strong presence and reputation in the community. We offer comprehensive Tempe car repair and Tempe car maintenance services, so give us a call when your vehicle needs a professional touch!
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.