Tip & Tricks

Three Deadly Sins of a Driver

by Mike Aven

People think they know everything about driving and that incidents happen to others, never with themselves. In fact, situations on the roads occur every day, and every one has to be if not prepared, then understand what causes dangerous driving.

1. Using your phone while driving.

Probably, the most dangerous driving sin that distracts from safe driving is our cell-phone. No wonder, it became a part of our lives and is always nearby. Most drivers feel very confident behind the wheel and think that no call or a text message will distract them or cause any risk to the safety of other road users or themselves. This is mainly why phone use while driving makes it one if not the most dangerous actions in modern life.

Think Again. Some drivers are assured their phone can not significantly obstruct their abilities on the road, yet it is so far from the actual truth. By merely taking the eyes off the road to quickly check a notification on the phone, so much harm can be caused in no time. Let’s be more specific. An average text message takes around four seconds to complete. While driving at about 80 Kilometres per hour, keeping the eyes of the road even for four seconds means you will travel almost hundred metres without looking in front of you at all. This is similar to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. Would you do that voluntarily?

Must be unacceptable. Phone usage while driving is not strictly prohibited, thus being a massive accelerator of danger on the roads. The question is - why is drunk driving unwanted when distracted driving can be as deadly to anyone on the way? According to the Road Safety Monitor statistics, the annual public survey that tracks the key traffic safety issues, those Canadians using their phones while driving admits they use it for shorter periods of time after the implemented jurisdictions on handheld devices. However, about 65.2% of drivers say they use their cell phones for ten minutes or less during a week. Seems to be not so critical, right? However, more than 400,000 people are injured every year in crashes because of distracted driving.

Forget about the social media. The conclusion is simple: do not use the cell phone while being on the road! Including: texting to any person, making or receiving phone calls, checking social media, composing letters, taking pictures etc. In case you need to use your navigation system to get to your destination, arrange your route ahead of time, or make a stop and enter your address. It is also important to keep others from using the cell phone while being a passenger. Calling out the driver for talking to someone on the phone is fair enough and can slowly but surely make phone use while in front of the wheel just as prohibited as drunk driving.

2. Eating and drinking while driving.

Eating and drinking are usually mentioned less than the smartphone situation. Is it highly worth mentioning, as enjoying your beverage or munching on a meat patty while driving is arguably as dangerous.

Drivers do this all the time.

The most common things drivers do is munching on a snack while on the road. According to An Exxon-Mobile study, around 70% of drivers eat while 83% of them drink beverages. While being so healthy, this simple action can cause deadly situations.

Just as phone use while driving, drinking and eating is suitable for all kinds of distracted driving:

  1. Manual: it requires you to take hands off the wheel.
  2. Cognitive: it takes your mind away from the road.
  3. Visual: you look away from the way.

As you can see, to take a little quick bite of your sandwich you have to focus on what you want, take your hands off the wheel, and sometimes take your eyes off the road entirely to look on what you are eating. What can be even more dangerous while behind the wheel?

Because of the reason what a big problem eating and drinking while driving can be, there is a numerous list of studies that highlights how unsafe it is:

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while in front of the wheel increases the chances of an accident by 80%.

A study by Lytx indicates that drivers who eat or drink are 3.6 times more disposed to an accidental collision.

Take your lunch timely

Do not rush, take your time to have a lunch break while stationary or save the snacks you bought for after driving. Eating while you are on the road can cost you a lot more.

Drink your cup of coffee before you are planning to head out on the road. Coffee caffeine takes around fifteen minutes to make any effect on your body - that way, you will be already awake while reaching your office.

3. Listening to music while driving.

There are studies out there that say 90% of drivers listen to some music in their car. This is the most popular thing on the road, which might be an underestimation. Indeed, music helps us to ease the stress, boredom and anxiety. Sometimes, pleasant background noise can improve concentration and focus abilities, which is highly beneficial on the roads.

However, it does not apply to the situations when a driver embraces an aggressive rock. Loud, dynamic music.

Scientists at Newfoundland’s Memorial University detected that loud music slows down the reaction time for 20% at a benchmark of 95 decibels which is how a lawnmower sounds. That might seem really loud, but consider that the middle volume of a standard music player (such as your phone) is about 94 dB. That’s not too loud at all – and car radio volume can frequently hit 100 dB, especially on the freeway. Teen drivers are especially susceptible – 93% of novice drivers play loud music when they’re behind the wheel.

You might think it is too loud, yet keep in mind that the middle volume of a typical music player (as well as your cell phone) is about 94 decibels. The car radio volume can hit 100 decibels. Turning to some facts, 93% of new drivers, especially teens, play loud music while behind the wheel.

Better safe than sorry.

The verdict is simple. While you might look at this article and think it will never affect you, it is better to be safe than sorry. Regardless the music you listen, the food you eat or a conversation you are having while driving, think about your family and people around you that can get injured because of your irresponsible attitude.

By merely knowing these facts and tips, you can become free of any driver safety drama. Things feel better, and the ride is more enjoyable without any incidents on the road or highway. Drive safe!

If you feel that cannot drive your car for some reason, just book our designated driver, and they will do it for yours!