Avoid these 10 distractions behind the wheel

Avoid distractions behind the wheel

If you’re hitting the Atlanta roads any time soon, it’s important to keep your full attention on the road. There are a lot of things that can distract as we drive. We tend to think we’re better at multi-tasking than we really are. Even things that seem harmless or that will only take “a second” can be very dangerous. We all have bad driving habits that we can break. Here are a few distractions to avoid while behind the wheel.

What kind of distractions are there?

There are different types of distractions that could grab your attention when you’re behind the wheel. It’s important to be aware of these.

Visual. This means that your eyes aren’t on the road.

Cognitive. This means your mind is elsewhere, not focused on driving.

Manual. This means your hands are not on the wheel, holding the car steady.

10 different distractions to avoid.

1. Makeup/hair.

We’ve all been in this boat – running late for work, no time for makeup or hair-styling … which means you might be tempted to do your makeup in the car. Even though you might really want to do your makeup while you drive, poking at your eyes with a mascara wand or applying lipstick behind the wheel might not be the best idea. Not only could you end up with lipstick on your teeth, but your attention also isn’t on the road. You could miss something really important, like someone flying through an intersection trying to make a yield on green.

2. Talking to passengers.

Yes, we all have casual conversations in the car. But your priority needs to be keeping your eyes on the road. If the conversation gets too intense, you might need to dial it back a bit. Your passenger(s) will understand – you’re driving them, after all. Their safety is in your hands.

3. Eating/Drinking.

Snack time, though delicious, should be reserved for when the car is not being driven. Juggling a burger and fries and trying to steer is a lot. Besides, you can actually enjoy your food when you’re not trying to drive at the same time as you’re eating it. If you absolutely need some fuel, that’s understandable – just pull over first and have a safe pit-stop snack.

4. Having the dog on your lap.

Yes, it might seem adorable to have your fluffy friend as your copilot, but doggies don’t really get why they shouldn’t be squirming or trying to lick your face while you’re driving. So, unfortunately, it might be for the best to relegate the puppy to the backseat. Besides, what if the airbag goes off? That wouldn’t be good.

5. Setting up music.

Fiddling with music or switching the radio station can be very distracting. Yes, we all like to jam out while we drive. But arrange for that before you depart by queueing up your music when the car is still safely parked so no distractions happen.

6. GPS.

If you’re not quite sure where you’re going, you might want your GPS. But don’t program it while you’re driving. If something happens and you need to plug in an address or you spontaneously get lost, pull over, sort yourself out, and then carry on.

7. Smoking.

If you’re smoking while driving, you might be more preoccupied with not singing your fingers rather than steering. So, don’t light up when you’re driving. You don’t want to either injure yourself with the cigarette or steer into something.

8. Using the phone.

Another major distraction is, of course, phones. Texting is a huge problem because you’re not looking at the road, your hands aren’t on the wheel, and your mind isn’t focused on driving. Even holding the phone to your ear can be very distracting, which is why Georgia passed a Hands-free driving law not too long ago. Using a hands-free feature at least means your hands are both on the wheel where they’re supposed to be. Texting and driving is a big deal. Resist the urge to check your phone, send a message, or even tap the screen.

9. Sleeping.

Well…yes, driving would not be the ideal time to take a nap. Make sure you’re well-rested and alert when you’re driving. If you simply can’t keep your eyes open, pull over and have a little nap, walk around a bit, and try to wake up a little before getting back on the road. We’ve all had those sleepy mornings, or even afternoons.

10. Don’t drink and drive.

It’s also really important not to drink and drive. That one is also a big deal. Be responsible and drive safe. Get a ride, call a cab, or use a ride-share service. But for your safety and that of others, don’t take to the road.

Now, if you’re wondering why this is all so important, it’s because you can get better insurance rates if you have a better driving record. Your record does have an impact on your insurance rates, so think of safe driving as protecting your driving record. And in turn, hopefully getting rewarded with lower insurance rates.

If you want to see if you can save money on your Atlanta car insurance, we can help. Our team strives to make insurance easy and help people save money on their rates. Get started by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. That way you can see what savings can be found car-insurance-wise.