Winter weather is in full swing, making driving even more dangerous with slippery roads and blizzard conditions. Unless you are able to hibernate like a bear for the next three months inside the warmth and safety of your house, you are stuck driving even when the weather is a nightmare.
How to stay safe on the roads this winter
The key is to avoid distractions and remain focused on the road. This can be easier said than done as our concentration is sometimes drawn away from driving without us even realizing.
Driving disturbances can be dangerous, even deadly, when the weather is ideal so throwing hazardous conditions into the mix adds another layer of risk to the situation.
Even the safest of drivers (those that swear off cell phones and other technology while driving or who drive alone) aren’t always aware of the dangers they face.
What is the most dangerous distraction?
It is common to hear media reports about drivers distracted by technology, taking their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road, or by fooling around with other car occupants. Rarely, however, do we think the repetitive act of driving itself as a real killer.
Surprisingly, however, the most dangerous driving distraction is our own minds, or being “lost in thought.” According to a 2013 Eerie Insurance report, daydreaming accounted for 62 percent of distracted drivers involved in road fatalities.
Long drives, traffic congestion and the daily grind of a commute cause many of us to not fully pay attention to the road. We may be worrying about what we’re cooking for dinner that night, problems going on at work, or other random subjects.
How do I prevent distraction?
Even with the radio off, the cell phone put away and no passengers in the vehicle, it is still easy to get lost in a “fog.” Clearing your mind, making sure you aren’t overtired and continuing to assess everything that is happening around you while driving can keep you safe.
If you are stressed or upset, wait to regain your composure before driving or pull over to a safe location and collect yourself.
Think of mental distraction just like the winter roads. They can cause bumps and delays, so preparation, concentration and blocking out all other outside noise will ensure you safe travels.