Squirrel distraction

Squirrel!

Driving down the road we often look around to see what’s going on. Sometimes we see animals, sometimes we see pretty houses but most of the time we really don’t take in what we see. Driving is a habit and something we do almost every day. We don’t have to really think about it unless we are learning how to drive and have to pass a test.

So what happens when you do see something? Like a squirrel? It’s like we get a slap in the face and it wakes us up. We have a quick response to either jump – if it’s running out in front of us – or we quickly look at it as it scampers on the side of the road trying not to get hit.  Whatever our reaction is, we do something. This something becomes the distraction to our driving or train of thought.

We have so many distractions while we drive now. How can we help ourselves to really pay attention to our driving?

Here are 8 tips to stay alert while driving

  1. When we get into the car, make all adjustments to seats, mirrors, GPS and climate controls so you are ready to roll.
  2. Put all loose items away so they don’t fall off the seat and you reach for them as they fall.
  3. Don’t think because you are at a stop light that it’s time to put on makeup, brush your hair or answer a text. Do this before or after your ride.
  4. If you need to make emergency calls or get directions, pull over. If your device is built into your car, still do only it is an emergency. You are still distracted if you are speaking to someone and concentrating on that conversation.
  5. Avoid bringing and eating foods on a trip. If absolutely necessary, prep your food for ease of access. Don’t bring food that will spill or burn if spilled on you.
  6. If you have passengers, make sure that they are properly secured with seatbelts or car seats. Have your passengers help you with directions or texts that need immediate response. Let them reach for things so you do not.
  7. Be comfortable with the temperature in the car. To be alert, we must be comfortable, but not sleepy.
  8. Keep your hands on the wheel. Be ready when something happens.