If you drive, you will probably see many unsafe driver behaviors. The longer you drive, the more of them you’ll see.
You might see speeding or individuals not using their turn signals. You might see drivers run red lights. Others may tailgate on the highway or brake-check the car behind them.
Those behaviors can cause accidents, but distracted driving might cause the most car wrecks. We will discuss it in detail right now. When we finish, you’ll understand why you should never let anything distract you when you’re behind the wheel.
How Many People Engage in Distracted Driving Behaviors?
We’ll probably never know how many individuals engage in distracted driving behaviors. However, we do know that the NHTSA says distracted driving injures about 280,000 people yearly. It also kills many drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and pets.
This indicates the problem’s seriousness. Even the safest drivers might engage in distracted driving behaviors at some point. They might take their eyes off the road at any time and for any reason.
Many times, they might get away with it, and it won’t cause an accident. Sometimes it will, though. That’s part of why distracted driving constitutes such a problem on America’s roadways. The one time you decide you’ll do it, you might cause a crash, perhaps one with casualties.
What Does Distracted Driving Include?
Distracted driving also includes many behaviors. That’s another element that makes it such a problem. You might let your children distract you if they’re in the backseat. Maybe you have a baby in a child seat that cries or does something else that diverts your attention.
If so, you can’t look back there for too long. You can spare a second or two to look in the rearview mirror, but other than that, you can’t console the child other than saying a few pacifying words.
You might also let food or drink distract you. You may hit your favorite drive-through window and get a burger or a milkshake.
Once you have it, you might eat or drink it while driving. Doing so can take your hands off the wheel and your attention off the road ahead. That might cause a wreck. You can avoid that by waiting till you get home before you enjoy your snack or meal.
What Else Does It Include?
You can include many other driver behaviors in the distracted driving category. You might let a billboard distract you. Some of them have a clever theme or something thought-provoking on them.
You may let the radio distract you. You might not like the song that comes on, and perhaps you’ll take your hands off the wheel while you adjust the dial. You may not find a song you like immediately, so you’ll have one hand off the wheel for several seconds or longer.
You might let someone else in the car distract you. Maybe that’s a passenger in the seat beside you. Perhaps you’re having an enthusiastic or heated discussion. If they say something that diverts your attention, that’s distracted driving.
You might let someone walking past distract you. Maybe you see an attractive jogger or cyclist. You can notice them with your peripheral vision, but if you take your eyes completely off the road, that’s asking for trouble.
Smartphones probably constitute the greatest driving distraction in 2023, though. That’s because virtually everyone has one. You might have a ninety-year-old grandmother who owns and uses one every day.
Some people have a legitimate smartphone addiction. They’re on their phone till the moment they turn off the light in the evening, and they check it the instant they wake up.
They will likely take their cell phone in the car with them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you have your cell phone on you, then you can use it to call for help if you wreck your car.
However, you should also know that your smartphone can distract you while you’re driving, and this causes many accidents. When the police interview individuals after car wrecks, an astonishing number
admit they checked their phones, and that’s what caused the crash.
If you must have your phone in the car with you, you can turn it off or put it on vibrate. If someone calls you, don’t answer. You should also not check your phone if someone sends a text.
You can check the phone when you pull over and turn off the car. If you avoid this major driver distraction, that’s already making the road a much safer place.
How Can You Avoid Distracted Driving Behaviors?
Many times, you can avoid distracted driving behaviors by knowing about them. If you know what constitutes distracted driving, and you know the horrific crashes that can take place, you will know what you can and can’t do while driving.
If you know that looking at your cell phone can cause wrecks, you can avoid answering a call or looking at a text when you get one. You might also see TV commercials that mention this same topic. The NHTSA has a significant initiative in progress that tells you that you should not answer text messages while driving.
You can avoid eating or drinking while driving, looking at billboards, or any of the other common behaviors that we mentioned. Every time you turn on your car’s engine and pull out of the driveway or a parking space, you can remind yourself that you’re a responsible person and you can make the roadways safer.
For incentive, consider your loved ones. If you remove your eyes from the road for one second, you might not make it back safely. If you have kids or a spouse, you may ruin their life if you hurt or even kill yourself because you didn’t drive safely.
Even if you have a dog or a cat at home, think about them. Nearly every human has some reason why they should avoid common distracted driving behaviors.