Avoiding Distractions whilst Driving

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It is important to stay alert at all times – and to act with extreme caution when climbing behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. Notimages (57) only does the driver have to avoid distractions – but passengers have to ensure that they are not the cause of such distractions. To test your concentration as driver you need to answer the following questions:
  • Are you always prepared to avoid a car swerving in front of you?
  • How about braking for a pedestrian who suddenly steps into your path?
  • Can you steer safely clear of debris falling from a truck?
Types of  driver distractions posing a risk to road safety
  • Physical distractions
Physical distractions are actions the driver might perform, actions by his passengers or technology in the car – and also distractions outside the vehicle that could divert the attention of the driver away from safely driving the vehicle.
  • Mental and emotional distractions
Mental and emotional distractions may cause a driver to be more aggressive and less tolerant to other drivers. He might also become less attentive towards environmental conditions and hazards on the road.
Most common distractions Physical distractions:
  • Roadside activities such as accidents or vehicles stopped by police/ traffic officers
  • Looking around at outdoor advertising, construction sites etc
  • Reading maps or newspapers
  • Personal grooming such as shaving, applying lipstick or mascara, combing or brushing hair
  • Eating or drinking beverages
  • Changing clothing
  • Looking for lost or fallen items
  • Flying insects
  • Talking on cellular telephones
  • Checking pagers
  • Tuning the radio, tape or CD players
  • Conversing with adult passengers
  • Tending to small children and infants
  • Smoking
Mental and emotional distractions:
  • Strong emotions of anger and grief
  • Driver tiredness/ drowsiness
  • Arguments and emotional conversations may lead to further distracting your attention
How to avoid distractions
  • Stay focused and alert at all times
  • Practise short quick glances and avoid prolonged staring
  • Never read whilst driving – rather pull off the road to read
  • Do not attempt to change or pull off clothing while driving
  • Conduct personal grooming before leaving or after reaching your destination
  • Do not allow passengers to interfere with your concentration
  • Make sure children and  pets are properly restrained before you start driving – and give children items to occupy themselves
  • Use pet carriers or portable kennels to restrict the ability of animals to roam around in the vehicle.
  • Pull over and stop if small children require attention that could divert your concentration from the road
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving – fumbling with napkins, wrappers and beverages means you’re not watching the road.
  • Plan your trip in advance and allow yourself time to stop and have a bit to eat.

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Subscribe to our newsletter where regular articles, tips and advice will be posted. Of course, we release that communication is a two way process and would like to get your input as well in the form of comments, feedback and suggestions. Articles covers a wide range of topics concerned with the the South African driver, the roads and safety of our road users.

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500 + questions to test your readiness for for passing your learners test. There are 10 tests comprising of 50 questions in each, covering all types and aspects licences. Scoring is provided at the end of each test, showing correct and incorrect answers. These tests cover: heavy vehicles, light vehicles, motor cycles and the like. Though subscriptions are limited to a time period,  there is no limit in how often you may take tests.  Passing these questions will definitely get you into the drivers seat guaranteeing your way to getting your licence.

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Soon to be SA’s largest directory of driving schools  listed from all the provinces. Click here to find the driving schools listed in your area.  A feature coming soon, will be a reference and grading service where driving schools will receive references and gradings to enhance their reputation and profiles on our website. Watch this space…