One of the recurring phrases in the work force and in our personal lives is “multi-tasking”. We all want to do many things at once. During the holiday season, our lives get so busy with more than ever to do. You know the drill – shopping, shopping and more shopping.
Our brains have difficulty handling the overload and driving is no exception. Talking on cell phones, drinking coffee, eating, turning to settle the kids down in the back seat, switching CD’s or searching for radio stations are all common distractions that can lead to crashes. Trying to drive in the hectic mall parking lot on top of everything during this time of year can add even more stress on a driver.
So how can you be safe and limit the distractions at the busiest time of year?
A driver’s first responsibility is the safe operation of the vehicle. A driver may be charged if erratic driving or a collision occurs from inattention, regardless of what else is going on.
Take away one of the main distractions while driving – the cell phone. It’s tempting to check off that one last thing on your list with that call from the car but truly nothing is more important than your safety. If you must make or receive calls use a hands free device or pull over and stop to make the call. Better yet, let calls go to your voice mail and respond at a safer time. Believe me your family will understand.
Before heading out on your holiday travels, adjust your seat, mirrors and climate control and choose what you want to listen to in advance. It may still be too early for those Christmas carols yet! While you’re driving, be aware of changing driving conditions such as the weather and the volume of traffic. Most importantly, pay attention. Collisions occur because drivers are not aware of the conditions around them. Be aware of what’s going on 360 degrees around your vehicle at all times.
There’s lots to do. You’ve made your lists, checked them twice and all that good stuff but somewhere in your holiday plans think about setting a good example and plan to get your family home safe this Holiday Season.