Top Ten Distracted Driving Habits
By Pekin Insurance · Oct 13, 2020 ·2 min read
You are sitting at a light that turns green. The car in front of you doesn’t move.
You are driving behind someone who starts to veer into another lane, and then they quickly correct themselves.
You are riding shotgun and you notice the driver in the car next to you is typing away on their phone.
Anytime you get behind the wheel, there is a possibility there is a distracted driver sharing the road with you. According to the CDC, nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured each day due to distracted driving crashes.
What are the biggest distracted driving habits? Here are the top ten, according to How Stuff Works.
1. Eating and Drinking
When you are constantly on the go, you try to find any spare time you can to gulp down lunch or drink your morning coffee. What if that coffee spills on your lap while you’re behind the wheel? Wait until you are parked to eat.
2. Applying Makeup or Grooming
You got up late, and you didn’t have time to put on your lipstick or hair gel. That mirror on your fold down visor becomes your vanity mirror, and you take your eyes off the road. It is not worth the gamble. Spend 30 seconds in the parking lot getting ready to go into the office instead of driving distracted.
3. Tending to Your Pets
Your dog may not know the dangers of distracted driving. When it starts barking or roams around in your vehicle, it doesn’t understand that it could cause you to lose focus while driving. Pets should be secured as well as they can be before driving.
4. Watching the Kids
Much like pets, kids may not understand that their behaviors could get Mom and Dad distracted while driving. If Jimmy and Jenny are yelling at each other in the back seat, find a good place to pull over before trying to resolve any conflicts.
5. Driving While Drowsy
Maybe you didn’t get much sleep and the sun is straining your eyes. Maybe it is midnight and you have been driving since morning. As much as you try to stay awake, it just isn’t going to happen. If you can, pull over at a hotel or get some caffeine pumping in your system.
6. Messing With Entertainment and Onboard Electronics
You just finished your favorite album and you start shuffling through your phone for more music. It could take multiple seconds to find it. That is time not spent watching the road. There isn’t anything wrong with in-car entertainment systems, but it is best to practice self-restraint when using them.
7. Watching Roadside Diversions
It could be a billboard, or it could be the Grand Canyon. Roadside diversions get our eyes to look at everything other than the road. You can always pull over to enjoy the view!
8. Texting and Updating Social Media
It is the 21st century and we are all glued to our phones. It only takes about five seconds to look down at your phone and respond to a text message. While that may not seem like a lot, you can cover a good amount of distance in that time. Luckily, tech companies are making it easier to listen to text messages and respond via voice. As for social media, it can wait until you are done driving.
Driving is a great time to gather your thoughts and clear your mind, but when you overdo it, you are not focusing on the road. Make sure you are focused on the road, and if your thoughts are too much for that, consider pulling off the road to think.
10. Talking on the Phone
Did you know that using a handheld OR hands-free phone can impair a driver’s reaction the same as being at the legal blood alcohol content limit? While hands-free devices are much better (and the only legal way to talk on the phone while driving in many states), they can still impair your cognitive ability when you have to quickly react to something.
We are all human. There is a good chance you know these happen to you daily. The more you can avoid driving distracted, the safer you are behind the wheel.