Many people are aware of the dangers of using a cell phone while behind the wheel. It is for this reason the state of Massachusetts has fought incessantly to get tougher laws on the books to punish those who use this common distraction.
However, there are many other ways to become distracted while driving. Many of them are second nature, so drivers do not give them a second thought. Whenever you engage in the following, you greatly increase your odds of ending up in a car accident.
Dealing with children or talking to passengers
When on a long road trip, your kids may complain they feel tired or want something to do. You need to handle the situation without ever taking your hands off the wheel or looking toward the back seat. If you need to, you can pull off to the side of the road to deal with a child. When it comes to passengers, you may feel rude not looking at them in the middle of a conversation. Your eyes always need to remain on the road.
Adjusting music, GPS or other controls
Most people adjust the volume of the radio or turn up the air conditioner without thinking twice. However, those few seconds of taking one hand off the wheel are dangerous. If you have someone else in the car with you, then you should ask him or her to take care of the radio or AC. Additionally, you should set up your GPS before getting on the road. This allows you to know where you need to go without making adjustments on the road.
It is easy to let your thoughts wander elsewhere, especially during a commute you have done hundreds of times before. While it is common, it is extremely dangerous. Your thoughts should always be on the road, so you can be a safe driver.