Driver distraction is on-par with the most serious road safety issues, including drink driving, driving fatigued and speeding.
But it is also an issue that can easily affect every driver, every time they get in their vehicle.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is aiming to equip more drivers with some skills and tips to help them avoid becoming distracted.
The institute recommends these seven things we can all do to avoid becoming distracted while we drive:
Keep your mind on the job when you’re near home:
Most crashes actually happen close to home, so ensure familiarity does not breed contempt by keeping your focus.
Keep your eyes on the road:
Glancing away from the road ahead even for a few seconds can make you miss that vital clue of a dangerous situation developing
Avoid trying to multi-task:
Even the shortest phone call or text is taking your attention away from the road, so talking on the phone whilst driving is a big ‘no’. Even though you may have devices in place such as Bluetooth headsets or hand free these can be very distracting.
If you can’t stop yourself using the smartphone put it in the boot!
Don’t smoke and drive:
Avoid smoking when driving. It is very easy for hot ash to get everywhere and cause accidents.
Don’t eat and drive:
Eating and drinking on the road not only takes your eyes off the road but dropped food or spilt drinks don’t mix with smooth driving
Have playlist ready before you set off:
This limits the amount of fiddling with music and audio controls or trying to plug in loose wires. Even consider a drive without music, you may just enjoy it.
The IAM head of driving standards, Richard Gladman, says a good driver always limits the chances of being distracted.
“Processing all the information from around your vehicle, taking up the right position on the road and making smooth progress are more than enough to occupy all your brain power.
“The best drivers can predict risky situations well before they can cause a problem.
“Allowing yourself to be distracted completely undermines that skill.”
Got any other driving tips you could share? Send it in via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact page.