April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we could all use a reminder about potential hazards on the road. You might not think you need to worry about it, but Laura Adams, senior analyst with Aceable, a driver education company, says distracted driving contributes to around 3-thousand deaths a year.

To keep yourself and everyone else on the road safe, she says the key is understanding the most common driving distractions and “taking proactive measures to avoid them.” According to Adams and other experts, these are top distractions:

  • Daydreaming - Adams says this is one of the “most frequent” and “scariest” distractions and it can happen during monotonous or long drives, like your daily commute.
  • Using your phone - Checking your phone to read a text, look at the GPS or change the music means you’re taking your eyes off the road, which is dangerous. It’s a natural impulse to look at the phone when you get a notification, so setting it to “Do not disturb” while you’re behind the wheel can help.
  • Looking at something outside the car for too long - Whether it’s another car, a billboard or anything else that catches your eye, it means you’re not paying attention to the road ahead, even for a few seconds.
  • Using substances and not getting enough sleep - It’s not just drugs or alcohol that can impair driving, some allergy and sleep medications can leave us feeling foggy the next morning, and so can a lack of sleep.
  • Reaching for objects - Ever tried to grab something that fell on the floorboard while you were driving? It only takes a couple of seconds, but that’s enough to put you and others at risk.
  • Interacting with passengers - We’ve all done it, especially if those passengers are your kids.
  • Eating and drinking - We all think we’re multitasking experts, but reaching for food and drinks and paying attention to them while eating can be a serious distraction behind the wheel.
  • Adjusting things - Turning the air down, moving your seat or mirrors or trying to change something else in the vehicle should really be done when you’re stopped, just to be safe.
  • Dealing with moving pets - Just like kids, you want to have pets secured before you’re on the road, otherwise you’ll be reaching in the backseat and distracted once again.

Source: NY Post

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