When car wrecks happen, auto insurance premiums usually rise. These days a significant number of accidents are occurring due to distracted driving. By definition, distracted driving is any activity that causes a driver not to pay attention to the road. While the use of mobile devices is of course a key cause of distracted driving, it is only one of many potential distractions the average driver might experience.
As a driver, you have a responsibility to pay attention to the road. After all, you aren’t just keeping an eye on your own actions, but also on the actions of others. Anything that takes your eyes off the road could put you in harm’s way in an instant.
Consider three ways to know if you are getting distracted behind the wheel:
#1: You Don’t Know How You Got Where You Are
Your brain knows what to do when you get behind the wheel, and it can guide you through many of the motions of driving automatically. However, your brain is not an autopilot. While it might know what to do generally, it cannot account for the fact that no drive is identical to the one before it.
You are familiar with the road signs, intersections and sights along your drive. However, if you don’t remember going through an intersection, or whether the stoplight you just passed was red or green, then this is a sign that you were driving distracted. This means that your brain wasn’t registering the situation around it, and you might have lost valuable time to be able to avoid an accident.
#2: You Have Been Engrossed in Conversation
It’s perfectly fine to have a conversation or listen to music while in the car. However, you have to avoid becoming caught up in the entertainment to the extent that you are more focused on that than on your driving. If you are passionate about a topic or know that you need to have a serious conversation, then hold off until you reach your destination.
#3: You Engage in Distracting Activities Behind the Wheel
Do you text while driving, or try to take a selfie behind the wheel? Do you do your makeup, shave, try to change clothes or even eat while driving? All of these are distracting activities, and all of them could be exceptionally dangerous. It is always best to wait until you get where you are going.
If you aren’t focused on the road, then you are putting yourself in harm’s way. Of course, your auto insurance might be there to help you get help if accidents occur. However, your priority should be to avoid these challenges at all costs. This means putting down your phone, turning down the radio and focusing on what’s in front of you.