Other Ways to Drive Distracted, Part 2

by Joe Ferguson on July 27, 2013

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We’re all familiar with the distracted-driving epidemic sweeping the entire country. The first dangerous activity that comes to mind when thinking about dangerous driving practices is texting and driving, but we’ve thought of some more driving don’ts that could be just as troubling. This is part 2 in a 3-part series about dangerous driving practices beyond cell phone use.

Responsible drivers don’t take part in potentially dangerous activities while on the road; we’re more concerned with car maintenance or when our next auto tune-up should be. We’ve never eaten a scrap of food while on the road, and most certainly don’t get behind the wheel if we’re a little tired. Am I right, fellow safe drivers? Okay, full disclosure: I’ve probably taken part in one or two of these distraction don’ts; don’t judge, you probably have too.

Our last installment dealt with singing while driving and rubbernecking, today we’ll discuss other ways to drive distracted besides texting or talking on the phone.

Eating and Drinking

Eating or taking a drink of coffee may not seem all that distracting, but it does take some brainpower to focus on getting the sandwich or cup to your mouth. If you’re not completely confident in your ability to stuff your face while driving, don’t. Your eyes will look away from the road for a split second to focus on what’s going into your mouth. And that short amount of time is all it takes for something tragic to happen on the road.

Also, just imagine what could happen if you missed your mouth while trying to gulp down that piping hot cup of coffee. Ouch.

Driving Under the Influenceof Sleepiness

This may not be on the same level of negligence as driving drunk, but it could be just as dangerous. According to the NHTSA, sleepy driving is responsible for up to 100,000 crashes a year, 44,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths.

What’s sad about drivers falling asleep at the wheel is that it’s completely preventable. A lot of drivers report falling asleep while driving, even if for just a second, and they’re lucky to be alive. If you’re feeling too sleepy to drive and want to prevent being the cause of any major accidents, try to sleep for a bit before hitting the road. If you have a legitimate, urgent reason for driving late at night or without sleep, just take a taxi. The price of a taxi will be much less expensive than any auto repairs you may incur while napping at the wheel.

Keep it safe out there on the road, gang. Eating in a car is best done when the vehicle’s parked—no cheeseburger is worth your life. Make sure to get plenty of sleep before any long, overnight driving excursions, and if you feel too tired to drive, don’t. Use safe driving practices and avoid fatal accidents or expensive car maintenance procedures. Next time, we’ll discuss more dangerous driving habits that can sometimes go overlooked.

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