If you are like most safety-conscious drivers, you probably glower or shake your head at the vehicles you pass when it is obvious their driver has a phone in their hands. Almost everyone recognizes how dangerous texting while driving can be.
Unfortunately, while enforcement efforts focus almost exclusively on the risks associated with phones at the wheel, distracted driving involves any kind of activity that takes your focus off the road. There are a number of behaviors that people think are safe that could really be dangerous distractions.
Interacting with your GPS device
Whether your vehicle has a built-in navigational system, you use your phone for GPS purposes or you have a specialized device that you mount on your dashboard, your GPS is still a distraction. If it’s not voice-activated, you have to take your hand off the wheel to type in the address and your eyes off the road to watch your inputs to make sure it is accurate.
Eating and drinking
If you have somewhere you need to be, getting some food in your stomach before you get there may seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, whether you’re drinking coffee that you could spill on yourself, resulting in erratic, jerky motions or you take both hands off the wheel to take a bite of a burger, nourishing yourself while driving is an unsafe practice.
Getting involved in conversations with passengers
Talking on the phone isn’t just dangerous because you have a phone in your hands. Conversations are distracting. When you have someone else in your vehicle, you may feel compelled to make eye contact with them and could become emotional as the discussion devolve.
Avoiding distractions when you drive may mean that your commute is a little more boring, but that will also help you avoid causing a serious car crash.