How to Avoid Driver Distractions

How to Avoid Driver Distractions

Whether you’re on a private hire or courier shift, you need to know how to avoid driver distractions whilst on the road. But what are the top distractions in and outside a vehicle – and how can you avoid them?  We’ll also look at how can artificial intelligence (AI) help us overcome this problem.

Why is getting distracted whilst driving such a problem?

Distracted driving is when you’re doing something else as well as driving. There are three main types of distracted driving:

  • visual – when your eyes are off the road
  • mental/emotional – when your mind strays from the road
  • manual – when your hands are off the steering wheel.

According to the AA, using the phone is one of the most common causes of all road accidents resulting in injury. They go on to say that text-driving causes twice as many accidents as drunk driving.

Top 3 distractions whilst driving

Here’s a list of the top 3 distractions for drivers:

  1. Mental or emotional disturbances. Worrying can affect your driving and so can daydreaming or having a very intense conversation.
  2. Physical distractions. Anything that makes you take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. Using a phone or tablet, eating or drinking, programming a Satnav, vaping, or smoking a cigarette are all examples of physical distractions.
  3. Events outside or inside the vehicle. Noisy passengers, children, pets, or even insects flying into the car can cause distractions. Outside the vehicle, you might get distracted by something like a road traffic accident.
Using your phone while the vehicle is in motion is not only illegal, but also a huge distraction.

Tips for avoiding distractions

  • Avoid emotional driving. Driving when you’re upset or angry is never a good idea. Find ways to deal with stress and maintain concentration. There are lots of free resources online to help you manage stress and your mental health. Take a day off if you need it, and make sure that when you’re driving, you’re able to concentrate and stay safe. If road rage strikes, pull over when safe and take a few deep breaths before continuing your journey.
  • Prepare for your shift. Plan your route for the day. Include stops to use the phone, eat, drink etc.
  • Keep your attention on the road. When it comes to outside distractions, make sure you keep your eyes on the road so that you’re able to react quickly if you need to and stay safe.  

How in-car AI-enabled technology will change everything

According to companies like Nextbase iQ and DriveSafe.ly, systems using AI-enabled dashcams with cloud-connected technology are on their way.

Dashcams that scan your movements will alert you if your hands are off the steering wheel or your eyes aren’t on the road.

With companies developing this kind of technology, it won’t be long before everyone can access simple tools to improve their concentration and safety on the roads. But until then, prepare well for every journey. Make frequent stops and look after your mental wellbeing.

If you’re in need of private hire or courier insurance, click here to get a quote online with INSHUR. Getting a quote is easy. It only takes 3 minutes.

Sources:

https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/driver-distractions

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/03/uk-motorist-caught-driving-while-distracted-nine-times-in-four-years

https://nextbase.co.uk/hub/introducing-the-latest-in-cutting-edge-evolution-the-ground-breaking-ai-powered-nextbase-iq-smart-dash-cam/

https://www.drivesafe.ly/

Image: Adobe stock

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