(BLACK PR WIRE) – By now, everyone should know that drinking and driving don’t mix. Drunken driving incidents tend to peak throughout the year, especially during certain holidays or festive occasions. There is another threat to safe roads that causes a significant number of accidents, which is not relegated to any season or time period. It is distracted driving, meaning any behavior that keeps a driver from giving full attention to the road.
Using a cell phone – one of the most common driving distractions – can be just as dangerous as too much alcohol. Some localities have banned driver cell phone use for just that reason. If it isn’t talking or texting on the cell phone, it may be talking to passengers, eating, adjusting vehicle settings, reading directions, looking at an accident, personal grooming, road rage or radio talk show rage.
Lack of sleep also causes distracted driving. In fact, enough car accidents are caused by sleepiness to warrant its very own event, known as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Drowsy driving may be caused by the side effects of medications, or disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy, as well as by lack of sleep.
Most causes of distracted driving can be prevented by preparing before your next car trip:
•Adjust all your vehicle settings ahead of time. Most new car models have preset options to arrange your mirrors, radio stations, seat positions and other amenities.
•Arrange any items you need to use while driving – eyeglasses or toll change, for example – to be in your immediate grasp in your car.
•Get enough sleep at night. Most adults require eight to nine hours for optimal mental and physical performance. When that is not possible, try to take naps when you get home.
•Look for medications specifying that they are for daytime or non-drowsy use.
•Limit your cell phone use to when your car is stopped. If the temptation is too strong, consider turning off the phone entirely while driving.
•If listening to radio news or talk shows gets you riled up, save them for home. The same applies to having heated conversations with your passengers.
•Avoid driving if you are very tired, or experiencing strong emotional or physical distress.
•Plan your time in the morning to get all your grooming, eating and preparation done before driving.
•If an accident catches your eye, realize that you too could be in that same situation if you don’t keep your eyes on the road.