Be aware of distracted drivers to avoid disaster.
Distracted driving has become more of a constant danger on the road, what with the advent of GPS’s and smartphones. To drive safely throughout your day you need to recognize the signs of distracted driving and handle them properly. If you see distracted driving, you should create a buffer of space in between you and the other drivers. You should also slow down to give yourself more reaction time in the case of a crash. Here are a few things you can watch for so you can get through your day safely.
People often play and switch through music on long road trips or commuting. The longer they are on the road the more comfortable they are looking for a new song or station and taking focus off the road. If you see people who are slowing down in the left lane or switching slowly without signal they may be distracted by their music or the music app on their phone. Slow down and give the driver plenty of space until you get an opportunity to pass them and leave the dangerous situation.
As much fun as a summer road trip can be, this also usually means there are several people in a car, which can be distracting for the driver. Even though the passengers may be respectful, the driver may still be talking, changing the radio station, or trying to plan their next stop. If you see a car with a large number of passengers be sure to keep at least 3 car lengths of distance between you and them so you have longer reaction time to avoid an accident.
Talking on a cellphone (handheld or hands free)
Handheld or hands free cellphones are both dangerous. You should avoid talking on your cellphone while driving at all times. If you need to talk on the phone you should always pull over or stop at an exit. Talking on your phone makes you focus on the conversation instead of the road. If you see someone on the road talking on their cellphone stay at least three car lengths away from them at all times. This gives you plenty of reaction time if they make a mistake or do not see an obstacle ahead.
Speech to text systems
While they are advertised as “safe” they can be incredibly inaccurate and distracting. They often text the incorrect people or do not write what the sender wants. Like the previous situations, give yourself space to react to any possible obstacles they do not see. If you are a passenger of a car and the driver is using the speech to text system ask them to stop and do not enter the car if they refuse to turn it off. If you need to send a text, pull over and finish the conversation. You do not need to jeopardize your life and the life of others for something as trivial as a text message.