Although there are laws in place that ban texting and driving, there are other activities that are legal but could still put us at risk of a car accident. Just because these actions aren’t illegal doesn’t mean that it’s safe for us to perform them while driving. Avoiding the following actions could keep us safe and prevent a car accident.
We’ve all had the occasional snack while driving but eating a full meal could be dangerous. Holding food with one hand and steering with the other could be dangerous for you and other drivers on the road. Depending on the state where you live, you could be pulled over by a police officer for distracted driving.
Texting and driving is completely banned in all states in the U.S. except for Arizona, Missouri, and Montana. Typing or sending a text message as you drive reduces your ability to respond quickly and distracts your attention from the road. According to Glendale car accident attorney John Phebus, distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents.
Changing the Music
Looking at your phone or leaning over to change the radio channel may not be the best idea, studies suggest that taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds while traveling at 55 mph is equal to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Avoid this by creating a playlist with your favorite songs and setting it up before driving.
Putting on Makeup
If you’re looking in the mirror making sure your lipstick looks perfect, then you probably won’t notice the car in front of you just stopped. Putting on makeup as you drive is a distraction that could cost you your life.
If you find yourself running your to-do list on your mind during your commute, you’re too distracted to be focusing on your driving. Concentrate on the task on hand, try writing down a to-do list the day before, this will keep you organized so you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Using a GPS Device
Setting your GPS when you’re already driving is distracting and you may not be able to select the correct address. You could cause an accident or be pulled over for using a handheld device while driving. Make sure you set your GPS before you start driving.
Reaching to Grab Something
If an object falls inside your car, don’t try to reach over to pick it up. According to the National Safety Council, reaching for a moving object puts you eight times at risk of an accident. Leave the object and pick it up once you have stopped at a safe location.
Blocking the Rearview Window
If you’re moving or carrying things on your trunk, make sure you’re not blocking the view from the rearview mirror. This view helps you see oncoming traffic from the back or cars that may be following too close. Blocking the rearview window can be dangerous, you may not be able to see oncoming cars if you’re changing lanes or merging into traffic.
Listening to music while you drive is not an issue, but if you’re using headphones you won’t be able to hear noises from the outside. Headphones decrease your awareness and you may not be able to hear emergency response vehicles coming your way.
Driving barefoot may not sound like the most dangerous thing, but it could be risky. If you need to brake suddenly you won’t have the ability to apply the same force you could with shoes on. If there’s an emergency or an accident and you need to step out of the car, your feet could get hurt from debris on the street.
Avoid distractions and concentrate on the road ahead to prevent a car accident or being pulled over for distracted driving. If you need to text someone, adjust your GPS settings or have a quick bite, pull over to a safe location to avoid injuries and property damage.