Easily distracted in the car? Keep your focus with these 10 tips
Since the rise of the smartphone, we are much more likely to be distracted in the car. We send a quick message at the traffic light, we check our social media in traffic jams or we search for our favorite playlist when we should really be keeping our eyes on the road. 62% of people admit to occasionally being distracted by their phones. At LeasePlan, we are all about maximum safety on the road, which is why we offer some tips to prevent distractions in the car.
One of the five most common causes of fatal road accidents is distraction behind the wheel. Smartphone use, meanwhile, is among the biggest dangers in traffic. According to the “Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde”, motorists spend 4.2% of the time they are driving on their mobile phones. American research shows that almost 7 in 10 accidents are due to distraction. However, there are lots of simple ways to maintain focus behind the wheel. These tips will help you stay focused.
1. Put your phone away This is perhaps the most logical solution: leave your smartphone in your handbag or jacket or put it in the glove compartment. This way, it is literally out of reach and you will be less tempted to check messages or social media.
2. Don't call or enter a meeting while driving All modern cars are equipped with the hands-free calling option, allowing us to make calls while driving. However, even with your hands on the wheel, you are easily distracted during a phone call. So keep your phone calls for after driving or stop by the side of the road or in a car park to make a call.
3. Make agreements on phone use while driving Let your partner, colleagues or boss know that you will not be able to make calls while driving. For example, you can agree with your colleagues that digital meetings cannot take place from the car. Similarly, your partner can wait to make a call until you are safely on the side of the road.
4. Smartphone as a GPS? Use the 'do not disturb' function Many motorists use their smartphone to navigate. In that case, it is important to place a smartphone holder at the right height, so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to see the navigation. Also set your smartphone to 'do not disturb'. That way, your GPS will keep working, but messages or calls won't come in.
5. Set up an absence message On Android smartphones, you can use the 'In-Traffic Reply' function, on iOS smartphones it is simply called 'Car Driving'. With this feature, you can set a message that is automatically sent to whoever is trying to contact you when you are driving. These features also ensure that you don't see notifications while driving.
6. Get your settings right before you leave Getting your favorite playlist ready, setting the right radio station, entering your final destination... These are all things we do while driving, but also distract us. So, make sure your settings are right before you set off. In some cars, you can also adjust the volume on the steering wheel or use voice commands to change radio station or playlist instead of doing it manually.
7. Avoid eating, drinking and smoking It seems harmless, but eating, drinking and smoking behind the wheel are also detrimental to your concentration. When, for example, a piece of your sandwich falls on your lap, you are distracted. Similarly, when you spill some soda or see ash from your cigarette fall onto your interior, you are guaranteed to take your eyes off the road. So keep food, drink and smoking for after your car ride.
8. Provide distractions for the children Children in the back seat can be quite a distraction, especially when they start arguing or getting bored in the car. Especially on long journeys, provide a good book, some toys or a nice audio story. This will keep them occupied (silently).
9. Keep the animals separated Is your four-legged friend travelling with you? If so, make sure it cannot interfere with the driver under any circumstances. It is best to put your pets in a pet carrier or let them sit in the trunk. Loose animals are also a great danger in an accident, as they are catapulted forward just like any other loose object.
10. Stay focused in a traffic jam too Are you in a traffic jam? Then take a look around you. You are guaranteed to see other drivers scrolling on their smartphones. In a traffic jam you may be almost at a standstill, but even there it is best to keep your eyes on the lane. Just one moment of inattention can cause a collision, resulting in even longer traffic jams. Still looking for something to liven up the queuing? How about singing in the car? You will definitely be in a good mood when you arrive at your destination!
At LeasePlan we go for 100% road safety. That's why we like to give you tips on how to drive safely and avoid accidents. Looking for tips to get through the winter safely with your car? Then read this blog as well: