Driving is a dangerous task. Although you may take for granted that you will arrive safely whenever you get in a vehicle, that isn’t necessarily the case. Everything from the weather and the condition of your vehicle to your mental state will influence your likelihood of getting into a crash.
You can’t control the weather or the actions of other drivers, but you can learn about the different mental states that have a strong association with increased crash risk. Choosing not to drive when in one of the three states below could potentially save your life.
While intoxication is a known danger on the road, people still get behind the wheel after drinking or can come. Even prescription medication can have an intoxicating effect that impacts someone’s ability to focus their make rational decisions while driving. Avoiding alcohol, other recreational substances and even prescribed or over-the-counter medication before driving will make you a better driver.
There are constant demands on modern adults, from employers who want you to respond to emails during the evening to phone calls from parents who want to plan for the holidays. You probably already realize that you need to put your phone down while driving because it is a dangerous source of distraction.
What you may not realize is that many other activities can also lead to distracted driving. Eating and drinking, talking on the phone or two passengers, adjusting vehicle systems like the radio or even daydreaming could all be forms of distraction that dramatically increase your likelihood of causing a crash with another vehicle or possibly a pedestrian.
After a long day at work, you may feel a little bit groggy when leaving the office. Taking a few minutes to stretch and reinvigorate yourself before you get behind the wheel could be a smart decision. So could do things to stay home later that night instead of driving over to a friend’s house.
The longer you have gone without sleep, the more your drowsiness will affect your driving ability. The impact of fatigue on your driving skill is much like the effects of alcohol. It will increase your reaction times and affect your decision-making abilities. You could also possibly fall asleep at the wheel.
Choosing not to drive when you aren’t in the right mind frame could substantially reduce your risk of causing a motor vehicle collision.