For some, driving seems to come as second nature. However, this is not the norm. Most people’s minds tend to wander while driving.
Consider this scenario: Have you ever reached your destination and thought to yourself, “How did I get here?” You obviously knew that you drove, but you didn’t have clear memories of each turn as you made it.
Rest assured, most people zone out while driving at some point. This is particularly true when we drive to and from the places we frequent the most, such as work and home.
Zoning out on the road is such a common phenomenon, we developed the seven tips below to help you stay focused while you’re behind the wheel.
#1 - Make a commitment not to use your phone.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
It’s critical that you commit yourself to phone-free driving at all times. The phone call, text message, or social media notification can wait.
#2 - Put your phone in car mode.
Most modern cell phones have features that allow you to mute notifications while you are driving. If your device doesn’t have the specific “car mode” feature, you should still be able to mute your notifications while you are driving, and then turn your notifications back on when you reach your destination.
#3 - Don’t multitask.
Multitasking isn’t real. In essence, multitasking is rapid switch tasking. That simply means that you are quickly changing your focus back and forth between tasks.
Unfortunately, the human brain is only capable of focusing on one thing at a time. As much as we try, we cannot focus on two tasks at once—it’s simply not possible.
When you’re driving, do everything you can to focus on that one task and nothing more.
#4 - Plan the details of your drive in advance.
Don’t attempt to get directions or start playing music from your smartphone after you put the car in drive. It’s best to handle these tasks before you hit the gas so you can focus solely on the road ahead.
Pro tip: In the days before a long drive, start preparing your playlists so that you have some good music to jam out to during those long hours on the road.
#5 - Keep your floors clear of rolling debris.
The last thing you want is for an orange to slip beneath your brake pedal when you’re going down a steep hill. Be sure to keep the floor areas in your vehicle free of debris so that nothing gets in the way of the pedals while you’re on the road.
#6 - Eat before you leave.
You may think eating while driving is safe enough, but it truly can present hazards you don’t need to deal with when you’re behind the wheel. Eating while driving forces you to take your hands, eyes, and mental focus away from the road, which makes it an unsafe driving behavior.
If it helps you maintain your concentration on the road, keep some chewing gum in the car so that your focus isn’t on how hungry you are. Just be sure to keep the wrapper or a napkin handy so you don’t throw the gum out the window when you’re done with it.
#7 - Ask your passengers to help you maintain focus on the road.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re with your friends and family, which is why it’s important to set some boundaries with your passengers early on. Before you are too far along on your route, let them know that you may need some help staying focused on the road.
Your loved ones will understand and will likely want to do everything they can to make sure you stay concentrated on the road ahead.
If You’ve Been Hurt, We’re Here to Help
Getting hurt in a distracted driving car accident is often a frustrating and painful situation to endure. If you’ve been injured as a result of another’s negligence, you may be owed compensation. Let our team see if we can help you recover it.
For a free consultation, call our firm at (801) 349-1009 today.