We all know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is reckless and illegal. But there are other situations that can make driving every bit as dangerous. Let’s take a look at some of these.
1 – Driving While Drowsy. It’s important to pay attention to your energy levels when driving. Many crashes are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel each year. This is of particular concern on long road trips where the landscape may grow monotonous. Make sure to switch drivers, if possible. If you notice you are starting to nod off, pull off the road as soon as possible.
2 – Driving While Distracted. We often think of cell phones as being a culprit for distraction. And while texting and driving is certainly a problem, the truth is that anything can be a distraction. Passengers, clutter, food, radio stations, clothing, even daydreaming can cause a driver to lose attention from the road. Sometimes, the distractions can be outside the car as well. Have you ever tried to read a flashing billboard? Or wondered what new store it looked like they were opening up across the mall? Anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road can prove dangerous.
3 – Driving With Certain Medical Conditions. If you’re facing a new medical diagnosis, it’s wise to assess your suitability to drive. You may need to ask a doctor for their advice. Certain conditions could put you and others at risk if you go behind the wheel. Also, always ask about possible side effects of new medications before driving.
4 – Driving While Unexperienced. Every new driver needs to gain critical skills that only come through experience. However, if you are teaching a teen or young adult how to drive for the first time, choose roads and traffic conditions that are suitable for their skill level. Start with neighborhood roads, empty parking lots, and quieter streets to build confidence. Save the freeway on a rainy day for a later lesson.
It’s up to all of us to make sure our roads are safe for all users. Make sure to assess your physical and mental state before you get behind the wheel. If it’s not safe – wait it out or find an alternative form of transportation.