How to stay focused and avoid distracted driving

Transport Canada reports that distracted driving now causes more collisions than impaired driving. Most of these types of incidents can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken. Here’s how to make sure you stay focused when you’re behind the wheel.

Only use your cellphone for emergencies

When you’re driving, your cellphone should only be used in the case of an emergency, never for a social call. Even using a hands-free device can distract you enough to miss a crucial visual or audio cue that would allow you to avoid a collision. Always safely pull over before using your phone.

Don’t try to power through fatigue
Fatigue, considered a type of cognitive distraction, can be lethal if you’re driving. If you start feeling drowsy, pull over to a safe location and allow yourself to doze off for a few minutes. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks to stretch your legs, which can diminish feelings of fatigue. Nodding off or falling asleep at the wheel could have disastrous consequences.

Limit the level of activity in your car
While it’s understandable that you and your friends will want to have conversations while you’re cruising in your car, try to keep them short. Make sure your attention is on the road and not on your passengers, especially when you’re driving in difficult weather conditions.

Don’t eat and drive
Anything that pulls your attention away from what’s happening on the road increases the risk of crashing, and that includes eating while driving. You might think finishing your meal on the go will save you time, but food spills are a major source of distractions. The potential time save isn’t worth the risk to you and others.

Don’t multi-task
Never forget that when you’re driving, you’re in control of multiple tons of metal propelled by a powerful engine. It may be tempting to catch up on small tasks while driving, but don’t do it. No matter how comfortable you are behind the wheel, you can’t account for what other drivers do, and you can’t control what happens on the road. The best way to stay safe is to remain focused.

Develop good driving habits early
Good habits start in driving school. If you live in Surrey, Burnaby or elsewhere in the Greater Vancouver area, you can trust the instructors at North Shore Driving School to provide quality courses. Our truck driving schools are accessible to residents throughout the Lower Mainland (including Langley, Abbotsford and beyond). Contact us today to find out more about our programs or simply register for more info using our easy and quick registration form.

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