What is Distracted Driving?

distracted driving
Keep your eyes on the road, and you are more likely to arrive at your destination safely. Image: atirme via sxc.hu

It’s the first day of April, which means that not only will you be on the lookout for April Fools’ Day pranks and April showers, but also hopefully learning more about a terrible epidemic in America. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Whether you are driving your moving truck rental cross-country, or just driving your car in your neighborhood, it’s important to always be focused and aware.

So, what exactly is distracted driving and how does it affect you? Mental, physical, and visual distractions can all take your attention from the road. Below are the most common distractions that you have to keep away each time you get behind the wheel.

Cellphones: Talking, text messaging, and surfing the internet can fall into one, or all three of the distraction categories mentioned above. The infographic below shows the effects of texting and driving. Keep your phone out of earshot and eye sight to avoid the temptation of checking your messages, or picking up a phone call.

Radio, GPS, and other controls: These devices take your eyes, mind and eyes off of the road. Set your music and plot your points before you put the car in drive, and you’ll be  more likely to arrive at your destination safely.

Navigating: When you get lost, it can be scary. Before you begin any trip in your car, make sure you understand the route. If  you have a passenger in the car, it can be helpful to leave the navigating to them. If you do get lost, pull the truck over and review your map to get back on track, but don’t do it while you are in transit.

Frame of mind: You may not realize it, but your frame of mind has a large impact on your driving ability, as well as focus on the road ahead. When you are angry, sad, or even just stressed, you are less engaged in operating your vehicle, and can even make poor decisions that you would usually not. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a matter of the mind, do not get behind the wheel.

Tiredness: Research has shown that driving while you are tired can have a similar effect to driving while under the influence. You should only drive when you are well-rested. If you are planning a long distance move, be sure to plan time for breaks to take a nap.

Over the next month, we will be sharing helpful posts to help you learn more about distracted driving and how you can avoid it. Each week, we’ll bring you new information that can help you stay alert and focused when you are behind the wheel. This week, enjoy the inforgraphic below about the dangers of texting and driving. Read more on distracted driving with these other helpful posts.

distracted driving

Do you have any tips that have helped you stay alert and attentive when behind the wheel? What distraction is the hardest for you to resist? Let us know below in the comments section!