GEM Identifies Driver Distractions

Don’t do this while driving! (Photo: GEM)

Reduce the risk of an accident by following a few simple suggestions.

UK-based GEM, a  provider of Roadside Assistance and Vehicle Recovery Services, has published a list of simple tips to help drivers stay focused on safe driving, and avoid accidents.

“By effectively managing all the potential distractions we face as drivers, we will be able to anticipate hazards, become smoother and calmer in our driving and stay on the right side of the law,” said GEM road safety officer Neil Worth. “We are also less likely to be involved in a collision or near miss. We just need to ensure we have the willpower to make it happen!”
Here are GEM’s tips for minimizing distractions:

1. Leave the phone alone. Consider putting it out of reach to remove the temptation. Switch the phone to silent and turn off the Bluetooth: this will prevent messages coming through, but it is still available in an emergency.

2. Music presets. Choose your favourites in advance such as on your phone’s playlist, with a stack of CDs – or preset your favourite radio stations. This ensures you don’t need to do any fiddling on a journey. Keep the volume down to a reasonable level to allow you to have more awareness of what’s going on around you.

3. The restaurant on wheels is closed. Consider having breakfast before you set off for work, not while you’re on the way. For longer trips, plan regular drinks breaks. Yes, cars have cup holders but when you’re driving, you take a risk by choosing to eat and drink as well.

4. Keep fresh and alert. We tend to look for distractions on long journeys to ease the boredom. Much better to make regular stops of at least 15 minutes every two hours or 150 km. Get some fresh air by walking around, have some coffee or light refreshments and enjoy a short power nap.

5. Occupy your passengers. If you’re travelling with young children, make sure there is plenty to keep them occupied, as this will help ensure they don’t distract you. 

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