We are required to be on full alert when driving our motor vehicles. When driving at 120 km/h, you are in a zone where things can go wrong in a few split seconds. A lack of concentration and plenty of distractions could place us and our passengers in serious trouble.
According to Netcare, distracted driving is becoming a leading cause of road accident deaths in South Africa. It will pay you to take heed of the following tips, which should also be considered ‘alarm bells.’
Anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road could be classified as a distraction. This would include lighting up, smoking, getting rid of the ash, and putting a cigarette out.
A pet in the car or a fly buzzing on your windscreen are considered to be distractions.
While driving, you may want to adjust the rear-view mirror or fasten the safety belt, but these adjustments are not considered to be serious distractions, however they can still distract the driver and any adjustments should be done before pulling away.
If you want to tune into that favourite radio station or change the air conditioner to demist the windows, it would be best to find a safe spot to stop your car to do so.. In fact, you could even practice this while stationary in your car by turning the airflow controller so many clicks to the right to provide the airflow that you are looking for at that time.
To get the foil off that chocolate bar or unscrewing the top off a bottle can be quite distracting, especially while your car is hurtling down the highway at 120 km/h.
What about your passengers?2
Your passengers need to know that they should avoid including you in a conversation. Being asked difficult questions while driving could cause considerable distraction.
Don’t be distracted by looking away2
In trying to sort out squabbling kids in the back, you might be turning completely around, with part of the back of your head facing the road ahead. Similarly, being fascinated by an accident that has occurred on the roadside will mean your eyes are no longer focused on the road ahead.
Are you using your cell phone while you drive?2
This distraction, which also applies to the hands-free option, can cause serious injuries or fatalities. When a car is travelling particularly slowly and wandering on the road, it could well be a driver using a cell phone.
It may have happened to you that you crossed a section of town, but you had no idea how you got to the other end. That is a sure indication of a wandering mind, and this state of mind can cause fatalities. You could be intensely trying to find a solution in your mind about a distressing situation while driving through a red traffic light.
Now that you know what causes you to be distracted the most, you can work on it and try to minimise that in the future. But, if you do have an accident, are you sufficiently covered? Why not make sure and contact PMD to find out more about their range of affordable car insurance products.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.