Most of us get into our car daily, without giving it a second thought. We drive the same stretches of road to work every day and it can be easy to switch off to what is going on around us. We often get distracted by numerous different things, without even realising.
But have you ever stopped and thought about what distracts you when driving? Your phone and other gadgets are obvious ones at the top of the list, and with new laws in place to combat this, we’re hoping to see a huge reduction in drivers distracted by their technology. Sounds, smells and other drivers are also a distraction though, and below, we take a look at how these things can cause lapses of concentration and what you can do to keep distraction free behind the wheel.
Before you set off
Before you even leave your driveway we have a few tips that should help keep you concentrating on the road ahead.
- Put phones and other gadgets out of reach so you aren’t tempted to use them. Use a hands free system if you think you need to make a call, make sure you set this up before you start driving.
- Set up your sat nav; don’t plug in the postcode of your destination when on the road. Give yourself an extra five minutes before you need to leave to set up your satnav, this will help reduce distraction when you’re driving. Make sure you place it somewhere that is easy to see as well, without obstructing your view.
- Make sure all your mirrors and driving seat are correctly adjusted before switching your engine on.
- Secure any loose objects. A lot of us have random objects in our cars, bottles of water, ice scrapers, CDs etc. Before you set off make sure these are secured somewhere properly in your car. If they start rolling around the footwell of your car when driving it can take your eyes of the road and you may be tempted to lean over and pick it up.
When you’re driving
There are lots of things that can distract us when driving; here are a few top tips to help you when you’re on the road!
- Don’t drive tired. Tiredness will make you get distracted easier and you’re more likely to lose concentration. If you start to feel tired, pull over in a safe place and take a break, it is recommended you take a 15 minute break from driving every two hours.
- If anything in your car becomes a distraction when driving, such as your sat nav going off course or a rogue bottle of water rolling around the footwell, pull over and sort it out, don’t try to do it while driving.
- Don’t let other drivers distract you. It can be easy to get distracted by other motorists on the road, especially if they do something that causes you to become irritated. You must always be aware of what is going on around you, but make sure you keep 100% concentration at all times.