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Whether you’re a learner, a new driver, or you’ve been driving for years, using the same route to work for just as long, there is always a need to concentrate. Accident figures show that a good number of road crashes might have been avoided if the driver had only concentrated more on what they were doing.
When you take the same route to work each day, and at the same time, it’s tempting to think that you can do it without thinking. No matter how safe a driver you might think that you are, you really do need to concentrate when you are on the road. Even if your own driving is faultless, you cannot foresee what other road users are going to do, which is why you need your wits about you every time you climb into your vehicle.
You may think that you are a safe and careful driver, and may even get into your vehicle determined to keep your mind on what you are doing. Unfortunately, most people only need to be in the car for a few minutes, especially on that first tedious drive to work in the morning, before they are soon distracted. You may think that fiddling with the knobs on your car radio until you get the right channel does not affect your driving, but the fact is it can. When you are fiddling with the radio, you are concentrating on getting the right news station, not on your driving.
Checking your cellphone, if only for a second, is not only dangerous, it’s against the law. While you’re checking your phone, your mind is not on what you’re doing, nor on what the driver in front of you is doing, and that is dangerous. Taking your mind off the driving and what is happening on the road could be fatal. Anything that distracts you from the act of driving should be left until later. Thousands of road accidents occur every year, just because someone was not concentrating on their driving.
Coping with Distractions
Every time you take your vehicle out on the road, and especially if you have passengers in the car, there are distractions. Letting someone else distract you from the task in hand is just as dangerous as being distracted by the radio or the telephone. If you regularly travel with family members or friends, then try to impress on them how dangerous it is when they say or do anything that could distract the driver.
There are things that you can do to help manage some distractions; for example, either deal with the radio before you set off, or leave it alone for the duration of the trip. Having your mobile in a place that is easy to access is a bad idea when you are driving. Switch off the phone and put it away until you’ve completed your journey, or make a stop at a service station to check it. If you want to avoid endangering your own life and the lives of other road users, minimise distractions as far as possible.