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Tips to avoid distractions while driving

Driving is a skill that requires your full concentration to carefully manage and control your vehicle and respond to events happening on the roads around you. Driving involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body. Actions or things that prevent you from operating your car safely are distractions.

Distraction is very common while driving. Most probably people get distracted while driving due to some or the other reason.
Attentive driving is important as the traffic situations can change in an instant, such as lights changing, or vehicles breaking quickly or changing lanes, children playing etc. Driving itself is a challenging activity steering, checking mirrors and traffic, signaling, maintaining safe speed, reading road signs and more. Adding non-driving tasks behind the wheel increases the risk of a crash.

Top tips to avoid distraction:

Loud music:
Although listening to music is not that distracting, having high volume can be considered dangerous. Drivers might not be able to listen to horns from fellow motorists or any emergency vehicle sirens, if they are hearing loud music. Also do not wear headphones or ear phones while driving.

Mobile phones:
Talking on your mobile phone, texting messages while you drive is a major source of distraction. Do not use your mobile phone while driving. Always make or receive calls after parking your car to the side.

Smoking is one act that is best avoided while driving. Lighting the cigarette, dropping ash our or in to the ash tray will offer sufficient distractions. Further there is even a chance of a fire in the car. Avoid eating and drinking while driving: Consuming food and drinks while driving is certainly very distracting. Accidents like spilling of hot liquids etc while driving are also common. One must always concentrate on driving.

Don't flip through your CDs, scroll through your iPod, or adjust your GPS while driving down the road.

There are some drivers who read a newspaper or magazine while at traffic signal etc The scenic beauty around you and beautiful advertisements and hoardings can easily distract drivers. Always concentrate on the road.

Stay calm:
If another driver reacts to you, donít get involved or raise the argument. Drive defensively and try to avoid situations that will lead to disputes with other drivers. So always stay cool and calm.

Always use the seat belt. If children are traveling with you ensure they also wear the seatbelt as otherwise you can be easily prone to be distracted.

Driving safely is a complex co-ordination of your sense organs, but when added distractions arise, keeping a vehicle under control could be truly challenging. So itís best to keep your eyes, hands and mind on the road at all times.
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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