Tuesday 20 August 2019

How To Be More Attentive When Driving

Driving can be stressful, whether you’re driving to somewhere completely new to you or a long-distance trip down the motorway, different types of stress may zap your concentration which can end up leading to a speeding fine, or potentially worse.  Add the complication of noisy children in the back of the car, the bad behaviour of some other drivers and well, it can be challenging  to say the least.

Here are some handy tips you can put into practice when you’re starting to feel your focus and patience wane:

Turn The Air-con On To A Low Temperature

This tip works just as well for when you’re feeling tired – by keeping the temperature cool your body feels more awake and alert. In fact, plenty of brand new cars include this as a safety feature – if you have one of Mercedes’ new models, you can use the voice command to say things like “Hey Mercedes, I’m tired” and it’ll change the ambient lighting, turn the air con on cold and the fan speed up. Alternatively, if you don’t have the luxury of air-con, you could always wind your windows down instead, providing it’s not raining of course! In our house I know that Daddy will do all of these things so even on the hottest day I bring cardigans and/or hoodies for us all as once the car is speeding along with all the windows open we soon need them and recently did on a car journey.  Once covered up (the kids even ask for a blanket) they soon fall asleep and then the journey is even easier especially after full tummies from a stop at services.  Yes, loo breaks are an essential of a pleasant car journey too!

Turn Your Music Down

Plenty of studies show that music has a direct influence on your reaction times, but those studies usually look within the lens of travelling at speeds of 30+ mph. For the times when you’re looking for a particular house number, street name or plan on doing a manoeuvre such as parallel parking or a turn in the road, turning your music down will increase your concentration immediately. This concept is backed up by a recent survey conducted by UK car leasing firm All Car Leasing, which found that nearly three quarters (72%) of the overall survey participants opt to turn their music down when they’re making a manoeuvre – so you’re not crazy if you do this habit already! If you want to read the full survey and supporting infographic, click here.

Keep hydrated

Dehydration in general will make you start to feel drowsy, so when you’re driving this becomes a much more serious issue. Plan ahead by having a glass of water or a cup of tea, you could even go a step further and bring a travel mug with you if you’re going to be stuck in stop/start traffic or on a long motorway trip.

Don’t Get Caught Off-Guard

Things like roadworks or harsh weather conditions usually present hazards on your journey such as road closures, light flooding or large branches that have blown off nearby trees. The last thing you need is to encounter these things when you’re unaware of them potentially happening. This can be avoided by checking the weather forecast the night before if you’re going to be commuting the next morning or even joining a local residents' page for your town, people are usually quite quick to let others know things happening in the local vicinity (though usually they’re mainly moaning about other people’s parking!).

Don’t Look At Your Phone

It’s 2019 so this should be obvious already at this point – looking at your mobile phone while driving is one of the largest contributing factors to road traffic accidents behind the likes of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It can be easy to get distracted if you’re feeling bored, but this is something you should absolutely avoid, if not out of fear of actually having an accident but also getting caught by the police.  The penalty for doing so is now increased. 

You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone when driving. You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.
You can get 3 penalty points if you don’t have a full view of the road and traffic ahead or proper control of the vehicle.
You can also be taken to court where you can:


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