Three driving distractions that often go by the wayside

Most Cambridge drivers know that talking on the phone or texting while driving are sure ways to get into a car accident, but there are some other dangerous habits that could get you in trouble behind the wheel as well. In fact, experts remind drivers that anything that takes their attention from the road has potential to be dangerous.

Here are three driving distractions that are often ignored, according to safety experts:

1. Pets. Many Cambridge pet lovers enjoy bringing their dogs along for car rides. However, many of these pet lovers fail to properly retrain their pets in the car, which poses a major threat to the pet and anyone else in the car. What can happen is that the pet could distract the driver, or worse, crawl on the driver’s lap or feet, causing an accident.

2. Food/beverages. We have all been in a hurry and eaten on the go. But experts say that eating and drinking behind the wheel can pose just as much of a distraction as texting or talking on a cellphone. That’s because eating or drinking takes at least one hand and part of the driver’s attention off the road. So, it’s best to pull over for a quick bite, even if it means being a few minutes late.

3. Rubbernecking. It’s one of the oldest driving distractions in the book, slowing down to gawk at an accident or something else of interest on the side of the road. But, unless you want to be involved in the next accident being gawked at, it’s best to keep your eyes focused on the road. The bottom line is that your eyes can’t be on two places at once.

These are three examples of distracted driving traps most of us have been guilty of at some point. Now that you know about these dangers, you can avoid them and stay safer on the roads.

Source: Cambridge Chronicle, “Auto Bits: 3 dangerous driving distractions that may surprise you,” Nov. 26, 2012