It’s no secret that distracted driving is dangerous, as it claimed the lives of 3,166 in 2017 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving is any activity that serves to divert attention from the act of driving, including texting, eating and drinking, talking on the phone, changing the stereo or programming your navigation system.
Texting is the #1 distraction and can be especially deadly. When you send or read a text, you are taking your eyes off the road for five seconds, which equates to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed at 55 mph.
In fact, any non-driving activity you engage in is a distraction and boosts your risk of a collision. Safe a life, or at the very least save your car from damage that will need to be repaired at great cost to you. Here are some ways to avoid distraction while behind the wheel.
#1: Put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb mode. Better yet, put it in the back seat or in the glove compartment.
#2: Don’t apply makeup in the car. This takes your eyes off the road, but it can also be dangerous if you were to stop short and the mascara wand stabbed your eye.
#3: Let dropped items go. If you drop your phone, your child loses a toy or your pocketbook tips over, let it go. Pull over if retrieval is necessary.
#4: Clean your windshield. Obstructions cut down on reaction time, so top off your wiper fluid regularly.
#5: Avoid eating or drinking. When you add cream to your coffee or reach for a burger in the takeout bag, you’re taking your eyes off the road.
#6: Limit distractions with your passengers. Engage in lengthy discussions or arguments later on, as your pre-occupied mind won’t allow you to concentrate fully on the road.
#7: Remove rolling balls. If a ball has come loose and starts rolling around, pull over safely and remove it. Balls can get stuck under your gas and brake pedals.
#8: Don’t be distracted by kids and dogs in the backseat. Crying children and excited dogs all compete for your attention. Try to tune out the noise and concentrate on the task at hand.
#9: Don’t text at red lights. Your undivided attention is still needed at red lights so you know when it turns green, and to look out for other drivers who could be distracted.
#10: Avoid putting up the volume. You won’t be able to hear approaching ambulances or police vehicles.
#11: Avoid staring at pulled-over vehicles. Say a prayer it’s not you being pulled over, and move on.
#12: Avoid rowdy passengers. Friends who yell and jump around are major sources of distraction.
#13: Wear sunglasses and use your visor. At peak solar glare periods, such as sunrise and sunset, have your sunglasses handy and put your visor down.
#14: Don’t react to yelling: If someone honks at you or screams obscenities at you, ignore them and keep your eyes straight ahead.
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center
We’re all human, and we all fall victim to distractions sometimes. If your car needs dent repair, contact us in Dallas at 214-666-5291.