Sadly, road safety is not just dependent on you but the drivers around you. As such, it’s crucial you equip yourself with the knowledge to practice safe driving. A leading cause for auto accidents, distracted drivers are a prevalent threat on the road. A major contributor to distracted driving is the use of cell phones on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers are focused on their own driving rather than everyone around them; therefore, you may not spot a reckless driver until it’s too late. To optimize your safety, here are 5 tips to avoid distracted drivers on their cell phones:
1. Be Aware of Other Drivers
While you don’t want to get distracted yourself, there are ways to safely observe the traffic around you while driving. No need to obsessively stare down the passing Prius. Rather, keep your eyes moving to be aware of those around you. Take advantage of your mirrors, stealing a quick glance every 30-60 seconds to keep track of surrounding vehicles. This precautionary measure can help you spot the signs of distracted drivers; whether you notice them swerving in their lane or can see another driver actively using their cell phone. Keep an eye out but don’t lose focus on your own position and driving.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance
A good way to prevent collisions in general, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles around you can be a life saver – literally. Stay a few car lengths behind the car in front of you to give you time to react to their mistakes. Another good way to measure safe distance is through the three-second rule. Use a land marker, such as a traffic sign or light pole, to measure the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. A minimum of two seconds distance is always required. This increases to three seconds on high-speed roads, and four seconds when in poor weather conditions.
3. Don’t Speed
It can be tempting to go a little faster than the recommended speed limit, especially when in a rush. However, speeding puts you and other drivers at risk, especially when there are distracted drivers on the road. Speed limits are there for a reason. Adhere to them best you can to give you more control over your vehicle and grant yourself a higher response time.
4. Keep Out of Their Way
An obvious way to protect yourself from reckless drivers is by avoiding them completely. While it sounds intuitive, it requires a keen observation of your fellow drivers to spot the ones on their phones. If you think you’re sharing the road with a distracted driver, simply remove yourself from the situation by staying well out of their way. This may require you to temporarily slow down or speed up, so always do so safely.
5. Avoid Driving While Angry or Tired
Don’t become the dangerous driver on the road. Being sleep deprived greatly slows your reaction time, judgement, and can even be life threatening. According to AAA, “16.5 percent of fatal crashes involve a sleepy driver.” Furthermore, fatigue interferes with your level of awareness, making it more difficult to spot distracted drivers on the road.
Emotions such as sadness and anger can also interfere with your driving ability. Angry drivers can be as dangerous as those distracted on their phones. Being emotionally agitated increases road rage and can lead to poor decision making and decreased awareness. Ensure that you’re well rested and in the right head space to operate a vehicle to protect yourself and other drivers.
At Mundie’s Towing, we understand that accidents happen. While it’s crucial for you to prioritize your safety by adhering to the tips above, some situations are out of your control. If you find yourself in a collision due to a distracted driver or need help recovering your vehicle, we offer fast and reliable roadside assistance. A trusted recovery and tow truck company for over 40 years, our services span Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Surrey, and Delta. Reach out to our towing company today!