Anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel of a car knows they have to focus their mind on what they are about to do. Controlling a ton of metal and navigating it safely through complex road systems is a task that requires high levels of focus… or at least, it should.
The reality is that few of us are able to get behind the wheel and fully, 100% focus on driving. Unfortunately, the consequences of this issue can be severe; distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents, and can have fatal consequences for the driver, passengers, and other road users.
Given the potential impact that distracted driving can have, it’s worth taking the time to look into the primary problems that can cause your focus to slip while driving. When you know where the problems lie, you can be cautious to prevent loss of focus when confronted with the following issues…
As pleasant as it may be to listen to music while driving, the potential to be distracted is extremely high. If you are going to listen to music while driving, keep the volume low, and always turn it off completely when driving through a built-up area.
Controls and settings
Whether it’s setting a new destination on your GPS or trying to get your air conditioning to just the right level, it’s always advisable to pull over to deal with the issue. The fact you have to take your eyes off the road and focus to press the right sequence of buttons means that adjusting controls or settings is always going to be distracting. It’s far preferable for your safety to take a few minutes off the road to get the settings correct, then return to the road when you’re ready.
Road sign overload
Most of us associate road signs with safety and essential information, but the reality is that road signs actually make driving more difficult and can be extremely confusing. If you find yourself trying to read a number of nuisance road signs, the chances are you’re not able to pay enough attention to the road itself. When confronted with a number of different signs, it’s better to pull over to assess the situation calmly rather than panicking and trying to read each sign in a rush.
We all know that tiredness is dangerous when driving. However, worrying about being tired is also a distraction in and of itself. Let’s say you’ve been driving for hours on a long leg of a road trip, and are concerned that fatigue is becoming a problem. Even if it isn’t a problem (yet), the mere fact that you’re worrying about it is a distraction. If you ever reach a point while driving when you’re wondering if it’s safe for you to continue, it’s not— either because of the concern itself, or the distraction you’ll experience from the concern.
When you know an issue is liable to cause distraction while driving, you can be proactive when confronted by it on the roads. By taking the time to rectify an issue before continuing a journey, you can be confident that the safety of you and your passengers will be preserved at all times.