Nobody wants to confess to being a lousy driver. Yet, we have all entertained distractions while driving at some point or another. Distracted driving is becoming a prevalent issue in the US, as statistics show that 9 fatalities occur every day due to accidents caused by distracted driving. In Minnesota, there were around 39,000 distracted driving traffic collisions between 2018-2020.
This article will discuss 7 common driving distractions to avoid for safe driving. It is vital to note that investing in a comprehensive auto insurance policy will help ensure your driving safety and that of other road users. Lake Region Insurance Agency (LRIA) experts can provide peace of mind by helping you equip yourself with sufficient auto insurance coverage.
What is Distracted Driving?
According to the Traffic Safety Office in Minnesota, inattentive or distracted driving refers to a situation where drivers participate in other activities that might divert them from their primary driving duty, increasing their risk of a collision.
Although the dangers of distracted driving are potentially lethal, the most common distractions while driving are legal. In fact, for the moment, Minnesota’s lawmakers are primarily concerned with mobile phone usage. The idea of outlawing other distracted driving types is only a suggestion.
Common Distractions While Driving That You Should Avoid
Vehicles are not toys. They are heavy equipment that can seriously harm people and property. Traffic safety should always come first, whether driving by yourself or in the company of others.
Because there are more distractions in modern life than ever before, you must always know of common distractions while driving and practice fundamental driving safety tips.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists the following as the 7 top distractions while driving that you should avoid:
1. Texting While Driving
Not only is it unlawful to make phone calls or send texts while driving, but it is also the most common distraction that causes automobile accidents within the US. If you must answer a call, ensure the phone is in hands-free mode.
However, you only do so when your phone’s hands-free mode is turned on — do not make it a routine since it still shifts your attention away from driving. Talking on the phone and texting is only permitted once you have safely parked your car.
2. Over-Reliance on your Navigation System
Although using an in-built navigation system in your vehicle is not hazardous, using Google Maps on your smartphone is a life-threatening distraction. In fact, it is just as dangerous as texting while driving, even if you are just glancing at the directions from time to time.
If you are driving alone, ensure that your preferred navigation system is positioned where you can easily see it. If you need to go through the directions, safely park your vehicle before reviewing them. Additionally, if you have passengers in the car, assign one of them as the co-driver to assist you in finding directions.
3. Drinking, Smoking, or Eating
Driving is dangerous whenever something demands you take your hands from the steering wheel or your attention away from the road, even for a brief period. Drinking and eating require that you do both. If you must drink or eat while driving, find a secure parking spot to enjoy your meal and resume driving. At the very least, wait until you stop at a traffic light.
4. Trying to Reach an Item From the Dashboard, Floor, or Backseat
Reaching an item from your vehicle’s backseat, dashboard, or floor requires you to remove your hands from the steering wheel. If you have to adjust your seat, mirrors, or radio, do so before you start driving. Only adjust your vehicle’s air conditioning or entertainment system once you stop entirely. Again, always keep your hands on the steering wheel and focus on the road when driving.
5. Staring at Roadside Phenomenon
While driving, it is common to find many roadside distractions, including magnificent scenery, billboards, and intriguing people. However, once you start driving, your only concern should be safely getting from one location to the next.
Long journeys, especially on familiar highways, might make you drowsy and lose concentration. Remember that even though the road is familiar to you, there is still no chance that its road conditions will remain precisely the same each time you use it. To put it bluntly, driving still demands maximum concentration.
7. Pets, Insects, or Animals in the Car
Having pets sitting loosely in the car or on your lap is unsafe. Even though your dog may love sticking her head out the window as you drive, putting them in seat belts is safer not only for them but also for you and other road users. They ensure they are safe in the car; hence, diverting your focus on the road is no longer necessary.
In addition, before you start driving, ensure there are no foreign animals or insects in your car.
Lake Region Insurance Agency Can Help Keep You Safe While Driving
It is vital always to ensure driving safety whenever you are on the road. Not only does this keep you safe from causing car accidents, but it also protects other road users. You should also ensure that you have valid auto insurance if you are driving a personal vehicle or commercial auto insurance for those driving business vehicles.
Commercial auto insurance is a type of automobile insurance coverage for your company from legal liabilities resulting from accidents involving company vehicles. Commercial auto insurance is a must for anyone using company vehicles and running a business. It protects the company from unexpected risks that may negatively affect cash flow and business operations.
If you are considering purchasing commercial auto insurance in Minnesota, consulting with a professional commercial auto insurance agent who is familiar with Minnesota driving laws and insurance regulations is crucial. At Lake Region Insurance Agencies, our experts can walk you through the process of acquiring the appropriate commercial auto insurance. Contact us today and get a free estimate.