For a lot of the UK’s motorists, however, this can prove difficult for one reason or another. A recent survey published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) saw four in ten motorists admit to driving without fully concentration. Further research from the poll also revealed the things distracting motorists the most often in the UK.
Children in the car topped the list of most common causes, with other reasons including other kinds of backseat drivers and changing radio stations both following close behind.
As many as 18 per cent of 1,447 drivers responding to the IAM poll admitted they have had a minor scrape in their car because of a distraction. Furthermore, nine per cent of the survey respondents revealed they’ve had a crash because they were distracted.
Avoiding distractions as much as possible is important to the safety of not just drivers, but also passengers and any pedestrians near you. Here are some useful tips to stop yourself from being distracted when driving your vehicle.
One thing to always keep in mind when driving, is to not let too much of your attention focus towards a vehicle in front. Maintaining a safe distance between other cars on the road is always vital. Following too close to the car in front limits the time you have to react.
Therefore leave a minimum gap of two seconds between you and the car in front and you’ll be better able to spot what’s on the road ahead including any hazards.
When driving on the motorway at normal speed – if you are so close to a car in front that you can read its number plate, then it’d be worth backing off a little. Giving yourself more distance to the car in front will allow you more time to react if something where to happen which would lead the car in front to slow down significantly.
While driving it is also advised that you avoid any kind of unnecessary multitasking, such as eating or drinking. Not only can these two things prove distracting but you may also be pulled over by the police for not being in full control of your vehicle.
Using electronic devices such as a hand held mobile phone while driving is illegal and highly distracting for drivers. Although in some cars hands-free Bluetooth calls can be made, it’s recommended you only do this when it’s important. Ultimately even hands-free calls can prove distracting from what’s on the road.
If you have children in your car then they can be noisy, disruptive and distracting. The trick to prevent this is to keep them occupied as much as possible so you can focus your attentions on the road. There are multiple ways which you can achieve this goal.
Some portable games consoles or in-car DVD players can keep children occupied in the car for hours. If you’re going to let them use these, however, don’t forget the headphones. The soundtracks from these media devices can be just as distracting as the children themselves.
If you are planning a long journey, make sure you’re organised, take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats.
Allow for extra stops as well. Find somewhere for passengers to stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park. Also, a second adult in the car to look after the children makes a massive difference, leaving the driver to concentrate on driving.
Keep a plastic bag with you in the car case any passenger suffers from travel sickness.
If kids in your car start fighting, don’t try and break it up while you’re still in motion – find somewhere to stop first.