It is important to stay alert at all times – and to act with extreme caution when climbing behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. Not only does the driver have to avoid distractions – but passengers have to ensure that they are not the cause of such distractions. To test your concentration as a driver you need to answer the following questions: Are you always prepared to avoid a car swerving in front of you? How about braking for a pedestrian who suddenly steps into your path? Can you steer safely clear of debris falling from a truck?
Physical distractions are actions the driver might perform, actions by his passengers or technology in the car – and also distractions outside the vehicle that could divert the attention of the driver away from safely driving the vehicle.
Mental and emotional distractions may cause a driver to be more aggressive and less tolerant of other drivers. He might also become less attentive towards environmental conditions and hazards on the road.
Stay focused and alert at all times Never read whilst driving – rather pull off the road to read Do not attempt to change or pull off clothing while driving Conduct personal grooming before leaving or after reaching your destination Do not allow passengers to interfere with your concentration Make sure children and pets are properly restrained before you start driving – and give children items to occupy themselves Use pet carriers or portable kennels to restrict the ability of animals to roam around in the vehicle. Pull over and stop if small children require attention that could divert your concentration from the road Avoid eating and drinking while driving - fumbling with napkins, wrappers and beverages means you’re not watching the road. Plan your trip in advance and allow yourself time to stop and have a bit to eat.
There is a growing concern about the dangers posed by motorists using cellular phones whilst driving. An international survey amongst 837 drivers with cell phones found that almost half swerved or drifted into another lane, 23% had tailgated, 21% cut someone off and 18% nearly hit another vehicle while using the phone.
The best advice is to avoid using cellular phones when driving When the phone rings, let it ring! It’s better to use your phone’s voicemail or even miss a call than to put yourself, your passengers or others at risk. If you have to make a call on a hands-free cellular phone – ask a passenger to dial or answer the phone for you If you expect such a call to last longer than a few seconds – be on the lookout for a suitable spot to pull over
Eating behind the Steering Wheel and Distracted Driving