January 9, 2020
It is important to stay alert at all times – and to act with extreme caution when climbing behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.
Not only does the driver have to avoid distractions – but passengers have to ensure that they are not the cause of such distractions.
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To test your concentration as a driver you need to answer the following questions:
- Are you always prepared to avoid a car swerving in front of you
- How about braking for a pedestrian who suddenly steps into your path
- Can you steer safely clear of debris falling from a truck
Types of driver distractions posing a risk to road safety
Physical distractions 💄
Physical distractions are actions the driver might perform, actions by his passengers or technology in the car – and also distractions outside the vehicle that could divert the attention of the driver away from safely driving the vehicle.
Mental and emotional distractions 😭
Mental and emotional distractions may cause a driver to be more aggressive and less tolerant of other drivers. He might also become less attentive towards environmental conditions and hazards on the road.
How to avoid distractions
- Stay focused and alert at all times
- Practise short quick glances and avoid prolonged staring
- Never read whilst driving – rather pull off the road to read
- Do not attempt to change or pull off clothing while driving
- Conduct personal grooming before leaving or after reaching your destination
- Do not allow passengers to interfere with your concentration
- Make sure children and pets are properly restrained before you start driving – and give children items to occupy themselves
Distractions caused by phones and technology 📱
- The best advice is to avoid using cellular phones when driving
- When the phone rings, let it ring! It’s better to use your phone’s voicemail or even miss a call than to put yourself, your passengers or others at risk.
- Use hand free set
- If you have to make a call on a hands-free phone – ask a passenger to dial or answer the phone for you
- Keep your calls brief
- If you expect such a call to last longer than a few seconds – be on the lookout for a suitable spot to pull over
- Never take notes or jot down numbers whilst driving
- When in heavy traffic –rather tell the person you will call back when it is safer
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