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Get rid of those distractions! How to be more focused when driving

Get rid of those distractions! How to be more focused when driving

March 10, 2022 Amanda
Skoda Range Sportline BS

Distracted driving is one of the most serious dangers on our roads, and yet it’s also one of the most avoidable. According to a recent study conducted by Monash University, Australian drivers are being distracted every 96 seconds (or almost 45% of the time) by something other than driving their vehicle. This is a damning statistic, and it just goes to show that despite the many campaigns to raise awareness of this problem, it is still something we really need to think about every time we get behind the wheel.

Don’t worry – when it comes to how to reduce distractions while driving, we’ve got you covered.

 

How Do Distractions Affect Our Driving?

Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds at 100km/h means you’re driving completely blind for the length of an entire football field. But we know that it can take only a fraction of that to get into an accident. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve taken our eyes off the road for just a moment and subsequently found ourselves having to brake hard to avoid the car in front. The upshot of all this is that at least 14% of all motor vehicle crashes in Australia involve a distracted driver.

 

Types of Driving Distractions

Types of Driving Distractions

There are a number of distractions that can occur when driving, even down to the very small ones that can cause us suddenly to not be in control of a situation – and that can have serious consequences. It almost goes without saying, though, that mobile phones are the biggest cause of distraction for drivers and thus no doubt a significant factor in many fatal crashes.

 

Drivers are four times more likely to have a car accident due to mobile phone use, and almost one third of all drivers admit to performing some kind of action on their phones while driving.

 

Along with mobile phone use, other driver distractions include:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Smoking/vaping
  • Applying makeup and doing hair
  • Changing music, radio or podcasts
  • Navigating maps
  • Distracting passengers

Of course, the easy solution to many of these is simply ‘don’t do it’, but it can help to keep some strategies in mind to mitigate the effect of some of these distractions.

 

How to Reduce Driving Distractions

Mobile Phones:

Mobile Phones How to Reduce Driving Distractions

 

As we’ve already mentioned, mobile phones are a huge cause of distraction on the road, so there are a number of things you can do to help keep your eyes and hands away from them while in the car. These include:

  • Making sure it is secured in a holder if you use it for navigation or in-car entertainment
  • Set it to ‘Do Not Disturb’

One of the best ways to remove your phone from the equation is to have it integrated into your car’s head unit. For example, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard in every new Skoda models, allowing you to perform many functions, including text message—one of the worst things you can do behind the wheel—without ever needing to touch or look at your phone.

 

Organise Your Cargo

 

Organise Your Cargo How to be more focused when drive distracting

 

We’ve all been in that situation where we turn a corner and the shopping bag on the front passenger seat tips over, spilling items all over the place. Our natural instinct is to reach over and try to contain the carnage because the last thing we want is our eggs falling out and causing a huge mess!

 

A much better idea is to just take a minute to arrange our shopping bags in the boot (rather than the front seat) in a way that keeps it all a little sturdier around corners. It will save you the panic and the distraction. If something does spill, you’d rather it’s just a few onions rolling around the boot than something up front that causes you to have an accident.

 

Keep Your Passengers Entertained

Keep Your Passengers Entertained

 

Rowdy kids in the back seats can be a major distraction for many drivers. With all the entertainment devices available these days, you certainly want to utilise whatever you have at your disposal to keep the kids occupied while you drive. Plan out your journey, particularly if it’s a long one, with various activities to keep them entertained and keep you focussed on getting your precious cargo to the destination.

 

Likewise, boisterous and distracting passengers can be a problem for many new drivers. Getting your driver’s license is a liberating experience for teenagers and young adults, and with this often comes road trips with groups of friends. Lesser experienced teen drivers can be more susceptible to back seat distractions, and young passengers can be less considerate of the driver’s need to stay focussed on the road. The result can often be failure to see a red light or a stop sign. Sometimes worse. So, educating your newly liberated teenage children about being attentive and how to reduce distractions while driving should always be a priority.

 

Maps

Maps How to be more focused when driving

It wasn’t that long ago that we had to use physical maps to figure out how to get from A to B, even for short journeys. Thanks to the smart phone, we get directions in real time, leading most of us to just ‘leave it up to Google’ to get us where we want to go. The problem with this is it requires us to spend more time looking at our map app when we should be keeping our eyes on the road.

 

If you spend a few minutes digesting your route before commencing your journey, you will be less dependent on your phone or other navigation system, freeing you up to pay more attention to the road.

 

Drive Safe

Hopefully these helpful tips on how to reduce distractions while driving can encourage road users to avoid the kinds of unnecessary distractions that cause so many accidents on our roads. Just a little bit of planning ahead of each journey can go a long way in keeping our roads safer for everybody.

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