There are numerous distractions anytime we get behind the wheel. We’re all been tempted to talk with passengers or eat our breakfast in our cars. But while these distractions seem harmless, they can have serious consequences for you and your passengers.
According to the PSNI, inattentive driving is the most common cause of a road traffic accident in Northern Ireland. Some distractions can be impossible to avoid, while others can be managed if you’re armed with the right knowledge.
In this blog, we put together some helpful tips that should go a long way to helping you avoid some of the worst driving distractions.
5) Talking to Passengers
It seems completely normal to chat to passengers when you’re behind the wheel. Absolutely everyone has done it. However, did you know that talking with passengers can sometimes be as dangerous as talking on your mobile? A study examining distracted driving found that that complex conversations had a significant impact on driver concentration. So while a quick chit-chat is usually fine, having a heated discussion while on a motorway should be avoided at all costs!
4) Eating and Drinking
While eating or drinking behind the wheel may not be an offence, police can pull you over if they feel that you are distracted. You should always keep your eyes on the road. It’s better to eat before you drive, or pull over if you absolutely need to eat.
3) Adjusting Audio and Settings
A quick glance to change the radio or Sat Nav can’t hurt, can it? Unfortunately, many accidents are caused by drivers taking their eyes off the road. It’s best to make any adjustments to your radio or climate controls before you head off on the road, or alternatively ask the passenger to make these adjustments. If you absolutely need to make the adjustments yourself during your journey, it’s best to pull over to the side of the road and do it safely.
2) Mobile Phone Use
A survey conducted earlier this year revealed that 1 in 8 drivers in Northern Ireland admitted to texting while driving. The fact is, it is extremely dangerous to use your mobile when you’re behind the wheel. You’re 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident resulting in injuries if you use your phone while driving. Need to take an urgent call or respond to an important text? Pull over to the side of the road. Don’t take the risk.
Many associate mobile phone use with dangerous driving, but daydreaming can be just as perilous. A study conducted in the United States shows that daydreaming is the leading cause of distracted driving. If you find your mind wandering over and over again, it’s better to pull over and stretch your legs or take in some fresh air than get into an accident.
If you were involved in a road traffic accident and need to speak with a solicitor, contact us today.