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12 August 2014

10 Most Dangerous Distracted Driving Habits

Habits are those actions we do almost automatically, at times without having to think about them. Good habits are useful as we need not think of every single thing we need to do; it just comes naturally. These habits include checking if the doors are locked before driving the car, or checking the brakes and the engine before driving off. On the other hand, bad habits are those actions that can lead to accidents and mishaps, even fatal ones. Here are some bad driving habits that lead to distracted driving, the leading cause of traffic accidents in the UK. 

1. Texting or Calling
Between the two, calling seems to be the lesser evil due to the advent of hands-free calling. However, texting still requires the use of the fingers when tapping a message on mobile phones, and also forces drivers to take their eyes off the road. And though glancing at the phone can be done in a second or two, a vehicle careening through the motorway would have travelled a long strip of road in those
precious seconds. Without their eyes on the road, drivers won’t be able to avoid incoming traffic, pedestrians, or other road hurdles. 

2. Playing games on the mobile
If texting is bad, then this is worse. Mobile phones have the latest apps and games that can take our minds off the task at hand, and distract us from driving safely. 

3. Eating
You can be eating some chips, guzzling soda, or munching on a burger—your choice of food doesn’t matter; your actions do. Eating while driving takes one—or both—of our hands off the steering wheel. This can be very dangerous as you need both hands to control the car in case you need to react quickly. 

4. Pets
We all love our pets. Often, we let them sit or sleep on our laps inside the bedroom, on the couch, and even while on the driver’s seat. Having a pet inside the car, worse, sitting on our laps, while we are driving can be very distracting, not to mention dangerous. It is much worse if the pet is active and noisy. 

5. Putting on makeup
You’re already late for a meeting at work and you still haven’t brushed your hair, much less put on your makeup. You dash to the car, start the engine, and hope traffic is slow so you can put on your eye liner. Grooming while driving is very dangerous as it does not only take one or both hands off the steering wheel; your concentration is also focused on the mirror instead of the road in front of you. 

6. Reading
It can be the day’s news or an article on your tablet—this is still a no-no. The only thing you should be reading while driving are traffic signs and road signs. No, not even the advertisements on the side of the road. 

7. In-car entertainment 
Car stereo, DVD player, CD player, TV monitor, and other media players. These in-car entertainment systems are very distracting and should be turned off while driving. If you are playing music, try to play soothing and slow music as research suggests it can boost safe driving, compared to rock and metal tunes. 

8. Driving while tired
Driving with no sleep or very few hours of sleep is a recipe for disaster. Don’t drive if you are feeling sleepy or extremely exhausted. You will be endangering not only yourself, but other passengers and motorists on the motorway as well. 

9. Rowdy passengers
Bringing rowdy and noisy passengers is a distraction. No matter how much focus you have on the road, if one of your passengers is making a ruckus in the backseat, and another is putting his head outside the window, you are going to be a very distracted driver. 

10. Daydreaming
Leave the daydreaming at home. It has no place in the car when you are the one in charge of the safety of your passengers, and yourself. Remember to focus!

What is the biggest distraction to you as a driver?

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1 comment

  1. Scary reading the extent of distractions that occur whilst driving, I'm bad for daydreaming esp on routes know like back of your hand


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