If you are looking to read some tips for distraction free driving well let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place.
This post has been created in collaboration with Kwik-Fit
Over the years I have done a lot of driving, since getting my Mini two years ago I have done 25,000 miles, not bad for somebody who works from home! Before that I was doing school runs seven days a week, each of them at least a 25 mile round trip, so it is safe to say that I have clocked up the miles over the years and also learned how to drive whilst being distracted by chatter and noise in the back.
But only ever from chatter and noise in the back, when driving with my children I always make sure that I am completely focussed on the road and don’t try and multi-task, unlike many surveyed by Kwik-Fit recently.
19% of the surveyed drivers admitted that they sometimes take calls while driving, 17% admit that they read texts off their phone, and 12% send texts. All of these reasons (including using your sat nav) can result in a penalty if the police pull you over and find that it was distracting you. And if I happen to see you texting or holding your phone whilst driving you will get the fiercest of stares. I have been known to contact companies when I have seen people doing it whilst driving logo-ed vans.
Alongside the research above Kwik-Fit have also created an online test where you can test your reaction times, called #DrivenToDistraction. Do try it out, you might be surprised that you don’t respond to distractions as quickly as you thought you might.
So my top tips for not getting distracted whilst driving are:
Put your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode
Most phones have this facility and it means that if somebody messages you they get an auto response to say you are driving and will come back to them when you have parked up.
Keep hands free calls to a minimum
Just because you are not holding your phone doesn’t mean you can’t be distracted whilst making a call. Keep calls to a minimum when driving and tell callers you will call them back when you arrive.
Don’t eat whilst driving!
If the police see you munching on a Big Mac (other fast foods are available) whilst driving with only one had on the wheel you could find yourself facing a fine. Pull over and eat it in peace. Or better still eat before you leave.
Allow children to use their screens
If you are off on a long journey then I don’t see the problem with allowing children to spend some time on their tablets. Provided of course it doesn’t mean they are asking for help to get to the next level! Or if you are really trying to limit screen time maybe listen to podcasts or create playlists of their favourite music.
Break up journeys so nobody gets bored
We regularly drive 200 miles from Hampshire to Cheshire and know every service station along the way. By breaking it up for a cuppa and a leg stretch at Warwick (an hour and a half into our journey), and then again for a wee (sorry but I have the world’s smallest bladder) at Norton Caines an hour after that the journey never feels like it is too long. Once we get back in the car at Norton Caines we know we only have an hour to go and are on the home straight!
Image of road courtesy of Shutterstock