In a vein to tackle driver distraction problems, an award-winning breakdown recovery and road safety organization in the United Kingdom – GEM Motoring Assist has recently published a list containing a highlight of the common things distracting most drivers all over the word and how to avoid them for a safer driving experience.
Naijauto has also noticed for quite a while now that; distracted drivers cause the majority of road accidents recorded in Nigeria today than ever. This is why we are putting out this GEM’s useful resource to help Nigerian drivers stay informed and drive more safely.
Countless ghastly car accidents caused by distracted drivers are usually recorded on Nigerian roads up till now
Below is a list of the top 6 ways that drivers in Nigeria and anywhere in the world can avoid being distracted while driving;
1. Avoid using your mobile phone while driving
The mobile phone is one of the greatest causes of distraction for drivers all over the world today. Many people even go as far as replying text messages and checking their social media pages while driving. This is an utterly horrible thing to do as it is usually very difficult for most drivers to stay focused when driving and on the phone at the same time.
Using a mobile phone for any purpose while driving leads to distraction and increase the possibility of driving mistakes
It is advisable to have one’s mobile phone left on silent and put out of reach when driving in order to keep it from distracting you. As a matter of fact, it is a punishable offence under the Nigerian road traffic laws to be caught using the phone while driving.
2. Plan your journeys ahead and use navigation systems
Planning a road journey ahead of time helps a driver stay aware of the approximate routes that he/she will follow until the end of the journey. And even if it’s a new or strange destination, a driver can easily ask people for directions ahead of the journey rather than looking around constantly while driving to figure out the correct routes thereby getting distracted.
Satellite navigation systems like Google Map, Google StreetView, and the likes, can also come handy in getting familiar with the route and turnings on the road the destination. A driver that is trying to figure out the correct route and constantly looking around while driving will find it difficult to stay focused.
Use Satellite navigation systems like Google Map and StreetView in planning your journey to avoid distractions and confusion
3. Preset your favourite music and radio stations
It is much easier for a driver to create a preset playlist of his/her favourite songs for a journey before hitting the road than fiddling around the car’s infotainment system while driving at the same time.
You can also have your favourite radio stations pre-searched and preset on selected dials to make it easy for switching between stations on the fly with single clicks without taking your eyes of the road and hands totally of the wheel for a long period of time.
Having a pre-created/preset music playlist and radio stations helps keep a driver from fiddling around when driving
4. Avoid eating and drinking while driving
It is usually advisable that a driver should eat to their satisfaction before hitting the road rather than looking around for a restaurant while driving or worst, eating and drinking on the wheels.
If you are going on a long journey, it is much better and less distracting to take breaks for your meals and drink with a little rest before hitting the road again rather than consuming food or drinks behind the wheels at high speeds.
Eating or drinking while driving (in motion) is an utterly bad habit that distracts most drivers and its unlawful
5. Take regular stops on long journeys
Driving long distances can really get boring most times, making it difficult for most drivers to resist the temptation of not looking around for things to distract and excite them as they drive on. However, this act of looking around too often while driving can make a driver react negatively to a sudden shocking sight of anything and make unnecessary mistakes on the road.
It is always advisable for anyone driving long distances, try to take a minimum of 15minutes break after every 2 hours of driving over 160 km (100-miles) distance. During such breaks, the driver can catch some fresh air, walk around, do a few exercises and relieve themselves before hitting the road again.
Take at least 15 minutes break to relax and unwind after every 2 hours of driving on long journeys
6. Keep your passengers occupied on their own
This point is very important for anyone driving with kids as they can really get impatient and distract you throughout the entire journey even when it’s a short one.
The best remedy is to have plenty of things to occupy your passengers on their own without needing to distract you as you drive. Toys work for kids and playing music or radio works for adults. You can also have magazines and interesting novels kept for passengers as well.
Parents can also use their older children as an extra pair of eyes while driving to help occupy them fully rather than let them distract you.
5 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
We believe that nothing is more important than the safety of drivers and passengers on the road. So, every Nigerian driver should relate to, as well as acknowledge these 6 ways to avoid being distracted while driving.
>>> Remember to check Naijauto more often for helpful safe driving tips.