Texting while driving is one combination that had taken its toll on the motorways. Although, if we come to think about all the distractions that come up as we take the wheel, texting may be the least of our worries.
To start off, we have cell phone use. For years, this holds the top of the charts of the distractions for drivers. Many states and cities have required the use of a non-hand held phone to be used inside the car. It can be a headset, a speakerphone, or any device that frees both hands behind the wheel. You may have noticed some drivers driving either terribly fast or sluggishly slow, failing to stop on a red light, and totally ignoring signage on highways, all while talking on the phone. Hand held or not, the reaction talking on the phone is the same.
There is the usual activity of talking to somebody while you are driving; these conversations are distraction that you should be wary about.
Adjusting the air conditioning, heat or defrosting controls forces a driver to look toward and reach for the controls (often removed from the driver’s position). And adjusting the radio or CD controls, searching for a channel and/or inserting or removing a CD provides additional distractions.
The seemingly harmless looking at our in car navigation system of taking a glance at out roadmap while the vehicle is on motion has a distractive tone as well.
Next, consider the family, especially with very young children and babies. It doesn’t take much for an unruly child (especially if they are bothering a sibling) or an incessantly crying baby to cause a driving parent to turn around to see what is going on. And if the child is trying to get out of his/her seatbelt or throwing things, the increased anxiety easily redirects the driver’s attention to actions inside the car, not those outside.
Distractions can sometimes be linked with what we, drivers, should be doing in the first place. Often times we get side tracked with a lot of goings on the road, like an aggressive drivers snaking its way on the freeway. Our minds are suddenly shifted and glued to that driver when it should be on the road, other vehicles and the highway signage.
There are also commotions on the road like accidents, a disabled car on the shoulder, or even the flashing patrol car lights are also distracting. Craning our necks, or rubbernecking, just to see a closer look at the accident will cause the traffic flow to slowdown, sometimes causing cars to bump one another causing more traffic jams and frustrations. The worst thing that you can get with this activity is a ticket and your certainly don’t want that.
And let’s not forget about all those highway signs, bill boards and other signage that graces our roadways in city and countryside settings. We’d better be looking at these to avoid missing a turn or driving faster than allowed.
On July 4th, one might catch the “rocket’s red glare” as fireworks explode in the nearby skies. Viewing and waving to a political or other protest along the side of roadway, checking out that garage sale, and looking for the real estate open house add to the distractions list.
The way things are going, it shouldn’t be long before it is illegal for any or all of the aforementioned distractions to warrant a driving violation. And this unto itself may further distract us from our main driving mission – keeping both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road and one brain focused on the landscape.
Dorthy Weatherbush tries to be a safe driver all the time. She also tries to protect her vehicle. That’s why she buys car parts and accessories from Weather Tech. She can shop WeatherTech.com for all the car parts and accessories she needs.