If you think back to when you first got behind the wheel of a car, you might remember how much concentration it took. You were probably sitting there, both hands on the wheel, staring straight ahead and checking your mirrors vigorously.
That’s pretty much how you should drive, although you don’t need to grip the wheel quite so hard. Unfortunately, as soon as drivers pass their test and gain confidence, they tend to relax a little too much, taking one or both hands off the wheel and allowing their gaze and mind to drift. In other words, they get distracted in one of three ways:
What are you doing with your hands when you drive? If you are holding a coffee cup, changing the radio channel or reaching for something your child dropped, then you are physically distracted. Try to keep two hands on the wheel at all times.
Your eyes should generally be looking in one of two directions – through the windshield or in your mirrors. Looking at anything else, be it a billboard, your passenger or the electronic display in your car, means you are distracted.
What are you thinking about when you are driving? Likely quite a lot of things such as whether you are going to arrive on time, what to cook for dinner or whether to call that person who gave you their number. While it is natural to do so, you need to pull your attention back to the road to give yourself the best chance of arriving safely.
It is easy to get distracted and it is something that everyone succumbs to, to some degree. However, drivers have a responsibility to other road users and if a distracted driver injures you, you have the right to seek compensation.