Safety tips for the daily commute
The daily commute can often get repetitive and it’s easy to get distracted. A favourite song may come to mind, or even the thought of calling someone from a hand-held mobile phone to pass time.
Here are some driving tips to avoid distractions from IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving & Riding Standards, Richard Gladman.
- Most crashes actually happen close to home, so ensure familiarity does not breed contempt by keeping your focus. Glancing away from the road ahead for even a few seconds can make you miss that vital clue of a dangerous situation developing.
- Multi-tasking is a myth – 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 a hands-free kit, these can be distracting and we recommend not using them. If you can’t stop yourself using the smartphone, put it in the boot!
- Avoid smoking when driving. It is easy for hot ash to get everywhere and cause an accident.
- Eat and drink at home. Eating and drinking on the road not only takes your eyes off the road but dropped food or spilled drinks don’t mix with smooth driving
- Distracted drivers swerve from lane to lane, drive too close to the car in front or react too slowly. As well as being a danger to other road users, all of these actions can bring you to the attention of the police who can issue a careless driving ticket at the roadside.
- Get your playlist ready before you set off for your journey. 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 might even enjoy it!
“If you take your driving seriously, it limits the chances of distraction,” Richard Gladman said. “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.”