Distracted driving is dangerous anywhere you do it, but it can easily turn deadly in major cities. New York is the country’s largest city, with approximately 8.5 million residents. Those who drive there need to be on the lookout for things like taxis, Uber drivers, buses, and jaywalkers who pay little attention to traffic.
Distracted driving is something that you can avoid, and when you’re behind the wheel on a Manhattan street, there are some particular behaviors of which you should be aware. If you know some of the activities that cause crashes most frequently, you’ll know not to engage in them. Let’s go over five of them right now.
Drinking or Eating While Driving
First, we should give you a stat that emphasizes how dangerous distracted driving can be. In a single month, distracted or inattentive driving caused almost 350 Manhattan traffic accidents with fatalities or injuries. That should tell you how widespread this problem is.
Drivers eating or drinking was one cause. Think about it: you can’t very well watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, and dog walkers when you’re trying to open a ketchup packet or you’re focused on your Starbucks venti latte.
If you do get food or a beverage, don’t try to enjoy them until you get to where you’re going. Once you’ve parked the car and turned off the engine, you can enjoy your lunch.
Sometimes, there’s no food distracting you, nor is there some technology that has stolen your focus. You might simply not be thinking about the road ahead of you.
Everyone daydreams sometimes. Maybe you have a favorite fantasy where you win the lottery, or you’re thinking about your cute coworker and trying to come up with the perfect line to ask them out.
There are places and times for daydreaming, though, and while you’re driving in Manhattan cannot be one of them. There are so many other cars, pedestrians, and things going on that you need to stay laser-focused on the road ahead of you. If you take the train, then you can daydream.
Arguing with a Passenger
You might have someone in the front seat with you, or perhaps they’re riding in the back. You may figure that now is the perfect time to talk to them about something that has been bothering you.
Maybe they’re your roommate, and you want to yell at them because they keep leaving the toilet seat up. It could be your spouse or partner, and you feel like now’s the moment to ask them why they always side with their mother over you.
Arguing while driving is never a smart idea. The issue is that if the other person says something to upset you, you might not notice changing traffic conditions or someone who steps off the curb. Many times, you can grow emotional when you’re in the middle of a heated conversation, so you should always save those for when you get home.
You probably want to look your best at all times. Maybe you’re in the car on the way to work, and you’re going to give a big presentation in front of your boss. You might look in the rearview mirror to fix your hair or make sure your mustache looks perfect.
That might be the moment the car in front of you decides to slam on the brakes. If you’re not expecting it, you may not stop in time. Wait until you’re out of the vehicle and no longer driving before you check your lipstick or whatever else it is you need to do.
Technology is perhaps the worst distracted driver danger. You might have your smartphone with you, and you want to send a text message or check social media. Maybe you’re even trying to play Candy Crush or watch a YouTube video.
Other drivers use a vehicle’s voice to text feature to send someone a message. They might talk to someone on Bluetooth, or perhaps they’re changing the satellite radio station, looking for their favorite song or album. It’s amazing what we can do in cars these days, but just because we’re capable of it, that doesn’t mean that we should.
It’s best not to let technology distract you while driving. If someone is riding in the vehicle with you, they can change the radio station. If you want to send out a tweet or a text, wait until you park the car before you do so.