I spend a lot of my time behind the wheel driving up and down the motorway visiting family or going on holiday. Staying focused on the road can be a real challenge and when driving with children this is even harder.
There are three different types of distractions that can affect your driving
*Physical distractions – This includes texting or making a call, setting up your sat nav or eating and drinking. I see so many people using their mobile phone whilst driving even though it is illegal. If you are caught using your mobile phone you can face a fine of £200 and 6 points on your license. Check out these Mobile Myths by Kwik Fit.
*Mental distractions – This is my problem. I always have phone calls on hands-free or I am thinking about my to-do list. Having conversations are also included in this category as are driving on familiar roads so not paying as much attention.
*Visual and Audio Distractions – Listening to loud music or being distracted by your phone or Sat Nav can lead to accidents or not being able to concentrate on what is going on around you.
Preparing yourself, your passengers and your car for the journey can help to prevent distractions whilst driving. You can do this in a really simple way.
Before setting off
*set up your sat nav with your destination before you start the car. Ensure it is plugged in or it has enough power to last the journey.
* If you are using your phone as a Sat Nav turn off all other app notifications. This means you will not be tempted to check them. If you are not using your phone as a Sat Nav pop it in the glove compartment or your handbag.
*Make sure your passengers are all securely strapped in and that they have everything they may need so they do not have to ask you for anything.
*If travelling with a pet ensure that they are secured safely and unable to distract you
* Remember that running late is just something that happens and try to plan your journeys to ensure you have plenty of time. This was you will not rush.
If you do find yourself distracted whilst driving makes sure you take a break. Having a walk-in some fresh air, dealing with your distraction or just getting a coffee can really help.
Ensure that your car is properly maintained will also help you to prevent accidents. Before every long journey and at regular intervals making sure that you check the following
*Tyres – These should have the appropriate depth and tyre pressure
*Fluid levels – Make sure that your car has the correct amount of oil, coolant and windscreen wash. Being able to clean your windows quickly is very important.
*Lights – Checking all your lights will ensure that you are not driving at a disadvantage. This is very important for driving at night but you may also experience fog patches or heavy rain which will also require your lights.
*Windscreen and Wiper blades – Make sure that you do not have any chips or cracks in your windscreen and that your wiper blades are in full working order.
Why not test your driving knowledge and reaction time with the Kwik Fit Driven to Distraction game