distracted driving - eating, drinking, cell phone

Dangerous Driving Habits Up Close – Distracted Driving

What are some of the most dangerous driving habits? Over the next few months, we’ll be taking an up close look at a number of them. The most dangerous driving habit is distracted driving. This comes in many forms.

Lucky distracted drivers will have to meet with their Baldwin Woodville agent about potential increased insurance rates. Unlucky distracted drivers may not have to worry about anything – but their families will have to deal with their life insurance, as they plan for their burial.

Distracted Driving Laws

Wisconsin and Minnesota distracted driving laws both forbid drivers from texting, or accessing the Internet. This is a leading cause of fatal accidents each year.

Novice drivers – those holding learner’s permit or intermediate license in Wisconsin, and those under 18 in Minnesota – are not allowed to talk on a cell phone, even using hands free. If there’s an emergency that requires calling 911, pull to the side of the road and make the call.

Man shaving while drivingOther Types of Distracted Driving

Eating while driving is common, even feeling necessary sometimes. Whether eating a many-layered, dripping burger with pieces falling out, or chips out of a bag, eating (or drinking) takes attention.

Putting on makeup while driving is also a common activity. There is no way to put on eye shadow while keeping your eyes on the road.

Reaching in the back seat to hand your child a snack, pacifier, toy, or bottle is distracting. The same goes for dealing with unruly children in the back seat.

Consequences of Distracted  Driving

Anything that takes your attention from driving is dangerous. Even if traffic is slow, nobody is in front of you for a hundred yards, it is dangerous. Many times, you will “get away with” distracted driving, leading to a complacent attitude about multi-tasking in the car.

But what if you round a bend, and traffic is suddenly at a dead stop? It’s hard to stop in that situation if you’re not distracted. If you are? You may be dead from running into the big truck in front of you before you even notice.

The Bottom Line

Distracted driving is dangerous. Period. Your consequences may be a dented fender, an increase in insurance premiums, a lawsuit, or death. What if the death isn’t yours, but somebody else’s? Can you live with that? Pay attention to the road, the traffic around you, the flow of traffic, and what other drivers are doing. Everything else can wait.

Catch us in a few weeks for the next post on dangerous driving habits up close.