To drive a vehicle requires your full attention. Yet many people forget or ignore this and drive oblivious to the traffic around them for seconds at a time.
While the law forbids certain things such as handholding phones while driving, many distracting things are accepted in society.
Anything that takes your attention from the road is dangerous
Drivers often decide what to do based on whether they will get in trouble for it. For example, more people will speed when they believe there are no cameras or police lurking. Here are some things drivers should avoid even if there is no specific law forbidding them:
- Turning around to speak to passengers: This is a common problem among parents of small children, as the kids do their best to get their parents to turn around. Even turning your head to speak to an adult in the passenger seat could be catastrophic.
- Navigating on the move: Few drivers pull out a paper map or road atlas anymore. Sat nav systems can give them on-the-go voice instructions instead. Yet these are only safe if you program your destination while parked up. Doing that or making adjustments to the screen on the move all distract.
- Looking out of the window: You need to look out the window to see the traffic around you. Yet billboards, people, beautiful scenery and so on can all catch your gaze and hold it long enough for you to miss what other vehicles are doing.
Distractions are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Drivers can, however, choose to ignore them and focus on the road. If they injure you in a car crash you will need to understand how to hold them to account.