We may tend to treat driving as a tedious activity because we do it so often. But we also know that it takes a lot of concentration to stay alert. Distractions can interfere our driving capabilities which can result in serious consequences.
How alert are you?1
You cannot be prepared for every possible type of scenario on the road, but how would you react if some goods were falling off a truck? No one expects you to always be on edge, but it’s good to anticipate specific scenarios in the back of your mind.
Distractions can be divided into physical and mental groups.
What are the physical distractions?1
Included here are the driver’s or passengers’ activities while travelling. It can also involve something happening outside the car.
Some examples of physical distractions are shown below.
The presence of police on the roadside1
A police presence suddenly appearing can capture our attention for a few seconds. Take note of this distraction, but don’t allow it to break your concentration.
- Trying to find your way around a city1
This activity can be most distracting. You may be trying to identify landmarks to get you to your destination, but looking for street names and not knowing if you should turn left at the last minute can all be distracting. It is best to let a cell phone app talk you to your destination.
- Using cell phones while driving1
It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving as it is very dangerous.
A handsfree phone kit is permitted and is usually standard in all modern cars. We must still be careful while engaging with the caller. Preferably keep the call short and leave the long conversations for later.
- Eating, and fiddling in the glove compartment1
Looking for something below the dashboard even for one second can be extremely dangerous. Trying to take off the wrapping of your delicious sandwich or taking a cigarette out of a packet are all ‘no-go’ activities.
- Interacting with passengers1
Before the start of a journey, a driver should inform his or her passengers not only to buckle up but also to ensure that they won’t distract him or her while driving.
What are mental distractions? 1
An upset driver could, for example, drive aggressively on the road. His or her emotions could cloud the decision-making process. This would not be a good time to drive. It would be best to wait until you have calmed down before hitting the road.
If you are expected to be driving over a long period of time, it is recommended that you get enough rest the evening before so that you do not feel drowsy while on the road.
Distractions could cause accidents, and it is always important to ensure that you are adequately covered? Why not contact PMD and find out more about their 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.