By getting behind the wheel, drivers, often without consciously pondering it, accept that there exists a certain level of risk associated with driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2020, there were 525 fatal wrecks in Washington state alone.
Most motor operators understand the dangers of the road and take safety precautions to minimize them. However, many individuals do seemingly harmless behaviors that could lead to an accident.
1. Wearing the wrong shoes
Footwear matters because it affects the speed with which drivers are able to brake, as well as the force and control they can exert on the pedals. When they wear high heels or flip-flops, they may cost themselves the split second they need to avoid a wreck. They also have less traction and may even, in the case of flip-flops, get their shoe stuck behind the pedal, which can have a serious impact when making fast decisions. It is also illegal in Washington state to drive in flip-flops. For those who need to wear high heels or pretty sandals for an event, one option is to wear sturdy shoes while driving and change when they arrive.
2. Flipping through the radio stations
Looking away from the road for even a second can have dire consequences. Constantly glancing down to flip through the channels is a major distraction.
3. Consuming meals and snacks
There are times when individuals need to dash out of the house. They may only have time to rush through a drive-thru and try to eat on the way to work or school. However, eating while driving is also a distraction, one that also takes a hand away from the wheel. If possible, pulling over to eat is safer.
Even seemingly insignificant actions may contribute to the dangers of driving. It is important to avoid excessive distractions to mitigate road hazards.