While losing focus when you are driving is of the most common mistake that is observed by drivers, it is indeed the most dangerous. As drivers, we need to realize that if we do careless driving, we’re not just putting our lives at risk, but also the drivers around us and the passengers sitting in the car.
No matter how luxurious, updated, or secure your car is, all of this can be lost with just a second of poor decision-making on the road.
Most Common Distractions
According to research, it has been estimated that inattentive driving leads up to 25% of all vehicle crashes. The issue is difficult to track but none of us have to look far to notice distractions all around us.
Most people probably associate driver distractions with mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices. In fact, diversions can be provoked by many activities and things both inside and outside the vehicle.
Drivers may be watching people outside the car, changing radio stations, grooming, or reading a paper, or navigating the GPS. A driver may also be eating, drinking, or engaged in countless other activities that a person can do while the vehicle is in motion.
How To Stay Focused While Driving?
1. Pause and Complete the Task
It’s essential to acknowledge that driving demands your full concentration. It is requisite that you are disciplined enough to devote your full focus on driving. If your drive is getting compromised because of some other activity, make sure you handle the task before or after the trip and not when you are behind the wheel. However, if you are in the middle of an urgent task while driving, pull over, and stop your car to complete it.
Moreover, if your car tires are not performing to the best of their ability, that can also distract you from the main focus on the road. If you feel that your ride handling is not as smooth as it used to be, take a look at your tires and inspect them. It might be time for you to replace your tires before you hit the show on the road again.
An example of a trusted high-performance tire with good dry and wet braking stability is Falken ZIEX ZE914 ECORUN.
3. Internalizing The 3 Main Stages
To understand the effect of distractions on driving we need to understand the driving task. At its simplest, driving can be divided into three main phases:
It is vital that as a driver on the road, one must observe beforehand of what is happening ahead and analyze the driving environment.
Once you have understood your environment and gained the knowledge needed through observation, it is time for you to make a confident decision according to your circumstances.
A driver must execute his or her decision with complete focus.
Let’s take a look at an example of perception, decision, and action:
A driver perceives a car ahead of him, stopping suddenly. To bypass crashing with the abruptly stopping car before you, it must be decided quickly whether to implement the brakes or steer around. Then the driver takes the action of avoiding a collision by steering around the vehicle ahead.
Note: It’s important to take notice that driver error can take place in any of these steps.
What happened when you don’t follow these stages?
They are all crucial for a smooth journey. An error made in any of these phases might cause a chance in a collision to increase significantly.
When you have attention focused on another activity, you could miss perceiving an important change in your driving environment. Such as a car pulling out in front of you, a signal light changing from green to yellow or a stop sign.
If your concentration shifts elsewhere, all decision-making capabilities stall down. And as you add more tasks, your performance on each one becomes slower. You may not be able to secure the right judgment or may show hastiness while doing so.
If you are unable to focus, you might not be able to take action on the decision you made previously. For example, you can fail to brake or accelerate at the right time or with the proper amount of pressure on the pedal.
Furthermore, you can fail to turn the steering wheel far enough or fast enough, especially in a physical distraction like making your tie. This is when you have allowed a distraction to take one or more hands off the wheel which can be life-threatening.
As you can see driving is a full-time job that requires your full attention. Beware of the most common distractors while driving which includes radios, music player, phones, GPS devices, and other in-vehicle electronics.