Have you ever thought about how precious a few metres can be on the road? If you’ve experienced a near miss, you’ll know that a few metres can make a big difference. In a 40km school zone, your car travels 11.11metres every second. If you’re flying down a freeway at 110km/h, every second your car covers nearly 31m.
With the average driver reaction time being somewhere between 0.7 and 3 seconds (www.copradar.com), your car will have travelled a substantial section of the road by the time you see the danger and react. For example, on a freeway at 100km/h, your 3-second reaction time would put you 84m closer to danger, or potentially right in the middle of it. This figure would be even worse if you are off with the fairies or distracted, and not giving your full attention to the road.
You can see the importance of keeping your eyes and mind on the road!
Let’s face it, many of us driving are doing so many other things in our vehicles that driving is almost a secondary function, and it’s only pure luck that we don’t have more accidents when driving. There are many ways to combat this ‘multi-tasking’ that we all do in the car/vehicle.
We may deny that we are guilty of doing other things when we drive, but if the reality is that all accidents can be avoided, then we could probably come up with one or two things less that we should do in the car.
One of the best ways to avoid doing anything in the car whilst driving is to be organised in the car before you drive. Here are some tips that may help:
- Know where you need to go – set your GPS or phone navigation app prior to leaving and place in the holder or in a clearly visible space where you don’t have to do anything – turn the volume up so you can hear the directions
- Get organised before you drive – before you leave set the songs you want to listen to, get comfortable, adjust your mirrors so you can see, bring up that podcast you’ve always wanted to listen to…
- Give some clear instructions to the kids in the back seat (although this can seem impossible, I know…)
- If you need to do anything other than drive… pull over!
- Get to your appointment early by leaving early and anticipating traffic delays – this is the norm now as our cities increase in population
- If you’re running late – call before you leave and let your customer/ client know – this will take some of the pressure off
- Secure all of your items before you drive – put your bags in the back or secure them in the front seat, using the seatbelt. If something falls on the floor, leave it!
- Don’t answer ‘that’ phone call, let it go through to message bank, or pull over to take the call.
Whilst the above is not an exhaustive list, the main solution to avoiding problems/accidents when driving, is to drive when you’re driving and do everything else, when you’re parked, at home or reach your destination.