This article is a part of our guest post project which allows copywriters to spread the word about the automotive industry.
Driving a motorized vehicle is a huge privilege. It is also a lot of fun. However, it comes with a ton of responsibilities. Besides the usual repairs and maintenance, it is your obligation to always remain focused behind the wheel when you are driving.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of death, injury, and serious accidents on the road. Here are some tips on how you can maintain your focus each and every time you go for a drive.
1. Give your car some love
When was the last time you had the oil changed or tire pressure checked? Do you hear noises under the car as you drive? Is the motor properly tuned? Maybe it’s time to give your car some love. One of the most important things that will help you stay alert when driving is to always keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Poor acceleration, loose steering, spongy brakes, and noises on the undercarriage and suspension will take your focus away from the road. It will also cause a lot of stress as you constantly hear/feel all the knocking, shivering, and hesitation as you drive.
The general road worthiness of the vehicle is directly related to the road behavior of the driver. Have your car serviced regularly and consult a qualified mechanic if you feel there is something wrong with your vehicle. You will thank yourself later for doing so.
2. Always stay hydrated
Here’s something worth remembering: moderate to severe dehydration will reduce your brain’s cognitive performance and will have a detrimental effect on your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Did you know that even mildly dehydrated drivers are twice as likely to commit errors compared to drivers that are well hydrated?
With that being said, always bring a bottle of safe drinking water in the car. Staying hydrated all throughout the journey will help you stay alert and react immediately to varying driving conditions.
3. Get enough sleep
Nothing can be more important than getting enough sleep before a long drive. Getting your fair share of shuteye is a crucial factor that will affect your daily and long-term health.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who only got four to five hours of sleep are prone to get involved in more accidents. The figure only gets worst if you got less than four hours of sleep because you are 11.5 times more likely of getting involved in a traffic accident.
If you’re feeling drowsy in the middle of your journey, pull over to the next service station and take a short nap. Seriously. If sleeping is not an option, take a short break, wash your face with water, and grab a quick bite before hitting the road.
4. Stop using your phone and other electronic gadgets
If you need to answer an important phone call or text, park the car safely on the side of the road before answering. Avoid the habit of fiddling with your phone, tablet, or in-car entertainment as you drive.
I’m sure many of you will agree that it takes a special type of skillset to text on a QWERTY keyboard while maneuvering the wheel. Texting while driving is one of the most distracting things you can do while piloting a motor vehicle. So just stop and think about the lives of your loved ones and other people on the road.
And snapping selfies is no example! Accept that your passengers are surely more than capable of doing that for you.
5. Stop grooming while driving
Did you develop a nasty habit of fixing/brushing your hair, shaving, or putting on makeup as you drive? You should do all of this before you get inside the car or after you arrive at your destination. Anything that keeps your eyes off the road even for just a split-second is a huge distraction, and you never know when this same split-second might be the cause of severe accidents.
6. Listen to some music
The stereo is there for a reason. Turn on some sounds so you can further enjoy the sensation of driving. You can sing along if you want, as long as it helps in maintaining your focus on the road. But keep the volume low enough so you can stay aware of what’s happening around you, and never use headphones as you drive.
7. Keep the conversation alive
If you’re travelling with passengers, try to keep the conversation going. This will prevent drowsiness from taking over your consciousness on those long and perilous journeys. If you’re traveling alone, you can listen to some news, gossip, or talk shows that keep the level of your interest elevated.
Remember that safe and distraction-free driving starts with a well-conditioned driver and properly-tuned vehicle. Always check your car before driving long distances, get yourself ready, and make sure to bring everything you need so you can arrive safely in one piece.