The other day I got pulled over. I was on a lone strip of road without any other drivers. Unsure of the speed limit, I drove on the slower end of the mph dial. I leaned over to get my water bottle and veered a little to the side of the road before correcting myself. That is the exact moment I saw the red and blue police lights in my rear view mirror.Panicked and a tad terrified (I have never wanted to disappoint authority figures) I innocently asked the officer if I had been speeding. My veer had him concerned that I was unable to drive safely. (Never mind we were the only two people on the road in the middle of nowhere) “Were you texting while driving?” he asked.Thankfully, I got off with a warning. I would have been mortified to receive a ticket. Mostly because it took me a while to find the cheapest insurance for young drivers. I would hate to screw up my awesome auto insurance rate with a blemish like this on my record.
It got me thinking about distracted driving. My biggest concern was hiking up my cheapest insurance for young drivers rate. But distracted driving can be a lot worse than lightening my bank account with a higher monthly premium. It could cause an accident. Hurt my car, hurt me, or even worse, hurt someone else.
Here are the most common driving distractions and how to minimize them.
1. Eating. I was pulled over while reaching for my water bottle. I get really tired while driving so I like to drink water or eat snacks to keep me alert. But this might be counterproductive. If you must eat while driving, make sure you are only eating finger foods. Hamburgers and tacos are messy and are decidedly much more distracting than something like an apple slice. If you drop said apple slice the mess is inconsequential. However, if you drop a taco, you are going to have serious problems. Make sure your food is not messy and easy to reach. To make drinking water safer while driving, utilize your cup holder and use a straw for the least amount of distraction.
2. Texting/ talking on the phone. I love how a phone turns my car into my mobile office. However, I am less alert and my reaction time is slowed when I am distracted by my phone. Texting is really the worst offender for distracted driving. Experts compare texting while driving to driving under the influence of alcohol. Texters who cause accidents while driving have gone to jail.
3. Friends. Friends can be a big distraction for new drivers. This is so much the case that some states have enacted laws restricting young drivers and who they are allowed to drive around. In my state, a young driver is only allowed to drive friends to and from school or church activities. Worried your friends might distract you? Only chauffeur around one or two to keep the distraction down.