Whether it is your daily commute or a family road trip, long drives can feel monotonous, especially if you are the one behind the wheel. To stave off the boredom, many drivers try to multitask.
This might include listening to the radio, listening to an audiobook, chatting with passengers, eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone or texting. However, each of these activities could increase your risk of being involved in a collision.
Recognizing distractions maybe the first step
Many drivers understand that texting can be a dangerous distraction if it is done while someone is driving. However, most people don’t even recognize other driving distractions for what they are. A variety of different tasks could be dangerous if performed while driving.
Distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive. This means that any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off driving could be a safety risk.
Five ways to prepare for a long drive
One of the best ways to avoid such distractions is to properly prepare for your drive. This can mean something different for each driver because different distractions may tempt each driver. However, there are several general ways you can prepare for a long drive.
Before you start to drive, consider:
- Eating a meal or a snack
- Completing personal grooming
- Setting up your GPS
- Stowing technology out of reach
- Adjusting temperature controls
Although music, audiobooks and conversation with passengers can all be distractions, it may be challenging to go without them on a long drive. If this is the case, consider making a playlist for your music, so you don’t need to change songs or stations frequently. You may also set up your music or audiobook before you start driving.
If you are traveling with passengers, you could give one of them control of the music. You may also create rules for your car that prohibit arguing while the vehicle is in motion. This is because emotional or stressful conversations with passengers can be more distracting than calm ones.
Although there are several actions you can take to avoid driving distractions, it can be important to remember that not everyone who shares the road is so diligent. If you are injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, it may be valuable to explore your legal options. It may be possible to hold the distracted driver accountable for his or her actions.