In this day and age we are always in a rush; going, moving, doing, something always needs to be done. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to accomplish everything we need. We even start to turn our vehicles into office space, social hub and a food table. With so many distractions out there in the fast pace technological world we live in, it’s a surprise we get to our destination in one piece. Anything can become a distraction for us, like bugs drawn to a bug-zapper; they can range from the tan, ripped guy running down the street, to the blinking lights on a new party store. While realistically we can’t eliminate driving distractions 100%, there are a few easy things you can do to take those negative habits and turn them into positive ones.
#10: Under the Influence: And not just Alcohol.
While we are all aware of the affects of drinking and driving, that’s not the only substance that can impair driving abilities. Many people have prescription medications or pain killers they take, which can leave them feeling drained, groggy or even sleep deprived. This clouding of judgment and mental stability is safe for not only them but drivers around them.
Solution: Ask your doctor about side effects and don’t drive until you know how your body reacts to the medication.
#9: Keeping Track of Man’s Best Friend.
Dogs LOVE car rides and feeling the wind on their face, there’s nothing like it. But many dogs don’t just sit in one seat for the car ride. They want to see everything and are constantly bouncing around from the front to the back. Sometimes you might have papers in a seat or an open drink that could potentially spill. Occupying your attention on them leaves you and others on the road vulnerable and at risk.
Solution: Dog carriers or even harness devices to help limit your pets’ mobility in the car.
#8: Playing Referee with the Kids.
Everyone thinks that their child is an angel sent from above, but what happens when your “angel” turns into a screaming monster? First reaction is to see why their crying and comfort them. Those seconds your eyes come off the road can be the difference of an accident and safety.
Solution: Try and talk your little one down. If that doesn’t work, pull over.
#7: Make- Up and Multi-tasking.
Women are no stranger to leaving the house and trying to finish putting on their eye liner or even mascara while driving. Men are also the blame, brushing and fixing their hair in the rear view mirror or even shaving! Some people find driving boring and like to enjoy a good book or newspaper article.
Solution: It can wait, or wake up earlier to accomplish needed tasks.
#6: Search and Rescue Missions.
Everyone has had those times when things slip out of your hand, or take a corner too tightly and things slide off seats, dashboards and center counsels. CD’s, phones, papers, food etc have found their way to the floor and it’s something you need, it’s almost in your reach. As you start to reach the wheel comes with you but is caught in time; Close Call!
Solution: Car organizers for CD’s, iPod and cell phone holders, along with binders are readily available.
#5: Radios, iPods, and Other Electronics.
With today’s advancing technology, electronics are being coming more alive. You can now do almost anything with iPod’s and radios. With such an amazing technology out there and at our finger tips it’s hard to NOT be distracted even walking down the street, let alone driving.
Solution: For iPod’s, make a driving play list so you can listen to your favorite songs hands free. With a high-tech radio, preset your stations or even have the blue-tooth hands-free radio.
#4: “Taking a Deep Breath.”
Road rage is something that sneaks up on a lot of us while driving. We find ourselves yelling at lights, cars and people; someone cuts you off or just is driving 15 under the speed limit. Your first reaction maybe to speed up and give them more than just a piece of your mind, not thinking of the danger you are not only putting yourself in but also the others around you.
Solution: Turn the negative into a positive. Stop, Take a deep breath, and if you can’t handle the rage, pull over to avoid escalating a potentially dangerous situation.
#3: “Yes I’ll have fries with that meal…”
Cars are more than just a transporter. With every place now having the comfort of drive thru’s, the car is now not only a mobile transportation, but also a dinner table. Fast pace atmospheres drive us to be always on the go and always moving, forcing us to eat between the limited time we have in between activities. Spilling your hot morning coffee causing you panic and not have full control of the vehicle is just one example of the many situations that could happen.
Solution: Make time for meals, or even pack snacks for in between trips to help curve hunger.
#2: Limit Phone Calls.
How many times have we passes a car going too slow and the drivers on the phone, too many to count! Cars are the “other office space” on wheels. They host family meetings, conference calls and any other business needed to be dealt with between trips to the grocery store. Dealing with work matters or maybe talking to a relative can take away your total mental focus off the road and on to the conversation at hand.
Solution: Blue-tooth head-sets are widely available and can be paired with any phone these days. They prove the conversation you WANT with the hands-free focus driving NEEDS.
#1: Texting and Social Media.
With the increasing social media movement being forced on the younger generations, anywhere is now considered a social hub. The car, their rooms, even the bathroom can provide a back drop to Instagram pictures, Vine videos, and Facebook updates. Being on all these sites, it seems more and more teens and younger adults are updating their lives on the road. “Becky Smith posted- ‘This traffic on I-94 is CRAZY!!’” is almost too common on the web these days.
Solution: Talk to your kids about the dangers of not having full attention on the road, and also display good driving habits while they are in the car. Also, it can wait; people don’t need to see you driving to know what you look like or if you are having a good hair day.