Top 5 Habits That Cause Driver Distraction
21st June 2013
Every driver knows that they should concentrate on the road when behind the wheel, but sometimes people forget that they are behind a one-tonne lethal weapon and begin distracting themselves when driving. Not only could this cause people to find their insurance premiums going up following car accident compensation claims, but they could find themselves prosecuted and potentially jailed for driving without due care and attention.
Many innocent people die because of driver distraction. This often results in the driver facing charges of death by dangerous driving. Normal, moral members of society can find themselves dealing with the crushing guilt of being responsible for someone’s death while simultaneously facing lengthy custodial sentences.
So what can you do to avoid driver distraction? Personal injury solicitors have looked at motor vehicle accident statistics to come up with 5 habits that cause drivers to become distracted.
1- Mobile phones
After numerous car accident compensation claims involving mobile phone use, the UK government decided to introduce legislation to forbid drivers from doing so. If the police catch you driving while on the phone, you could face three penalty points on your license and a £60 fine.
Research indicates that drivers are four times more likely to be in a car accident when talking on their mobile phone while driving. If you have to make a phone call, find a safe place to stop and then pull over.
2-Messing with the radio or other onboard electronics
Cars nowadays are filled with a huge range of high-tech gadgets – GPS systems, radios, iPod adaptors and air conditioning units, to name a few. You should pull over if you have to take your eyes off the road to fiddle with any of these devices. Set your GPS to your destination before you turn on the engine. While you might be able to get away with a quick volume change if you can simultaneously continue to pay attention to the road, scanning through stations is trickier – you might have to put up with an annoying radio station until it is safe to move the dial.
Don’t mess with any in-car devices when navigating difficult junctions or you might find yourself liable in a road traffic accident compensation claim. If doing something will cause you to become distracted with the road, then don’t do it. Remember, you might have to deal with the unexpected at any time.
Experts suggest that driving while sleepy is as dangerous as driving while drunk. If you find yourself feeling drowsy despite being well-rested, then pull over at a service station, have a cup of coffee, stretch your legs and take a walk around until you wake up. Don’t stay up all night burning the midnight oil if you have to drive the following morning.
If it’s your bedtime and you’re on a long drive, you might think that you can’t afford to spend the night in a hotel. Continuing to drive has a high risk of leading to a motor vehicle accident that could result in you suffering a serious personal injury or even dying. Pull over and book a room to sleep in.
Everyone knows that it is illegal and immoral to drive drunk. Even if you manage to avoid a motor vehicle accident, you could still face a fine of as much as £5,000, a driving ban, and six months in jail. You might find it hard to find work or travel abroad with a criminal record and you will have to pay higher car insurance premiums.
However, what a lot of people neglect to remember is that many car accident compensation claims involving drunk drivers occur when the driver is actually hung-over. Brake research found that around half of young motorists and over one-third of older drivers would drink the morning after getting drunk.
Even a relatively small amount of alcohol – four pints of Stella Artois – could leave a person above the drink-drive limit for 13 hours. Stop drinking well before the end of the night if you have to drive the next day. A cup of coffee or a cold shower will do nothing to change your blood alcohol level.
5-Looking at distractions out of the window
Whether it’s the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, an advertisement, an attractive member of the opposite sex or a striking view, drivers will find it almost impossible to avoid noticing interesting things out of the window. Stay focused on the road at all times – if you find yourself looking at anything other than the road ahead, then stop looking at it immediately.
It is not only you who could be distracted behind the wheel – any of the cars ahead could contain a drunken, sleepy, distracted driver who could pull in front of you without checking their mirrors. Stay vigilant and alert at all times and you should avoid motor vehicle accidents.