Distracted drivers are the most common cause by far of road accidents in The US. You would think it is not too hard to concentrate on driving, but it appears drivers think they are good enough to manage other things at the same time. If you do not want to end up in an accident you should avoid some of the things other drivers do.

Using The Cell Phone

Whether they are talking or texting on their phone it is a distraction. They will have had to answer it if it is a call, and as for texting, they cannot be watching the road as well as writing a message. Cell phones should be put out of sight and on silent until you reach your destination. Then you can check missed calls and messages when you are parked up safely.

Drinking And Driving

This is not so much a distraction in the car, but it will cause your motor skills to be badly affected, and consuming alcohol before you get behind the wheel is not something you should do. If the police stop you or you cause an accident while intoxicated, you made end up in a hospital or you may end up hurting someone else. If you are lucky, you may only the services of top DUI lawyers to try and reduce the effects a DUI can have on your life. It’s never an acceptable or advisable thing to do.

GPS Navigation

We have all come to rely on GPS navigation when we are heading somewhere we do not know. However, you should set the destination in it before you set off and not try to sort it out on the way. Make sure you have the sound on too so that you can follow the voice instructions without having to watch the screen.

Adjusting Music Or Other Controls

Have you ever wondered why the radio and temperature controls are in the middle of the car? It is so a passenger can lower the volume, change the station or put the aircon on with the driver having to mess. Of course, there will be times you are in the car on your own and then you should pull over safely if you need to alter something and not try to do it while you are driving.

Eating And Drinking

Eating and drinking while you are driving are a distraction you really should do without. If you are very hungry or thirsty, stop somewhere for a bit to eat and a drink, but eat them where you buy them and not while you are driving along the highway.

Grooming

There are more people do this than you might think, especially in the morning rush hour. You will see women putting their makeup on and doing their hair, men using electric shavers and sometimes they are still trying to put their shirt on too. They just need to get up a few minutes earlier so they can prepare for their day before they leave home.

Dealing With Children Or Pets

If you have children or a pet in the car with you, they should be strapped firmly and safely in place. It can be very dangerous to let them n=be free to move about where they want, and they would not stand much of a chance if they were thrown through the windscreen because they were not strapped in.

Being Sociable With Passengers

You do not want to appear rude to any passengers in your car so if you are chatting with them that is fine. What you must not do is turn to look at them while you are talking though, as that will take your concentration away from the road ahead.  Paying attention to your driving has to be your first priority, and if they do not understand that perhaps you need to point it out to them.

Being Distracted From Outside The Car

There are things outside the car that can cause you to be distracted and you need to be aware that you should try to avoid this happening. A dress in the shop you are passing may look perfect for you, or the little boy in his pushchair look very cute. Things like this are for when you are walking though, and not while you are in charge of your car.

Try Not To Doze

Falling asleep behind the wheel is very common, but is something you really do need to avoid.  Do not start a journey if you are tired. You are better getting some sleep and delaying the time you start out. If you are on a long trip make sure you have regular breaks to stretch your legs and have a drink. You will get back into the car feeling refreshed, but as soon as your energy starts to flag you need to do the same again.

These are some of the most common causes of accidents on US road, and if you can avoid them you will hopefully have many more years of safe driving ahead.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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