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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Driving While Distracted

19 Jan Blog | Comments

Driving is a HUGE responsibility and should not be taken lightly. The driver is responsible for all the people in the car, including themselves, and the driver must be aware of the people and cars around them. This responsibility becomes increasingly harder due to all of the distractions that occur while driving.

We have all been taught to look people in the eye when they are talking to you. It has been ingrained in our beings since we were old enough to understand. It is a lifelong habit for some of us, meaning it is very hard to break, to not look at someone while we are talking to them. And that is, one reason, why having other people in your car is considered a distraction.

The other reason having people in your car is a distraction, especially more than one person, is because they pull your attention away from the road. The person or people may not even be talking to you, but it is natural to want to not only follow the conversation, but to also want to engage as well. If you are talking and laughing you are not completely focused on the road.

Another distraction, which many people do not think about, are moving objects. Anything that is loose in your car is considered a moving object. Having a pet in your car that is not in a carry case can be unpredictable. The pet could see something out the driver side window that grabs their attention. The pet could jump into the driver’s lap scaring them, even for a moment, causing an accident.

Something as small as a water bottle could be not only a distraction, but also dangerous. If a water bottle rolls around and gets wedged under either the brake pedal or gas pedal it could be very dangerous. On the other side of the spectrum, having a large object, like a box could impede a person’s vision creating another type of distraction.

The next type of distraction is one that most people don’t even realize they are doing, and only they have the control to be aware of it and stop it. It is called “day dreaming” or being “lost in your thoughts”. I am sure you have had moments when you are sitting and watching TV or sitting at your desk and realize a few minutes have passed. Letting your mind wander is something most people do. It becomes dangerous when you are stuck at a red light or in a traffic jam and you drift off, letting yourself get distracted.

There are so many distractions while driving that you need to be very aware of what distractions you are dealing with at that moment. You may have people in your car during one trip and find your mind wandering during a different trip. It is not possible to avoid every distraction, but by being aware of what the possible distractions are will allow you to try to minimize them, as much as possible.

 

 

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