Nearly a quarter (22%) of drivers in accidents over the past five years were reading messages and emails at the time.
It’s not only actions such as looking at your phone or eating whilst driving that can cause issues, but simply looking down or away from the road can cause the car to easily drift into other lanes or worse, hit other vehicles.
When driving, your full attention should be on the road and you must be aware of other drivers around you.
Such incidents can be prevented by hiding your smartphone in a safe place or simply pulling into a safe spot before returning any calls. Another common cause of accidents is eating whilst driving, almost half (48%) of Brits admitted eating whilst on the road. The simple solution is to finish your food before setting off, so that your full attention is on driving safely.
Here are a few other tips from app-based insurer Rooster:
Driving while tired
Before you start to drive, you must check that you don’t feel sluggish and tired as your reaction times and concentration levels can suffer if you do. Shockingly, more than half (55%) of British drivers admit to driving whilst tired.
Try to ensure you are well rested before you start your journey and even take a power nap before you set off.
A good tip is to drink plenty of cold water to revitalise your body and mind. It may mean you need to stop more regularly but this will be a further aid to fighting fatigue.
When it comes to signalling, letting drivers know your intentions on the road in good time is a must. All too often, signalling too late or not at all whilst making a manoeuvre results in an accident.
When you plan to turn or change lanes, signalling is the best way to inform other drivers on the road of your next move. This gives other drivers enough time to accommodate your manoeuvre so they can plan to slow down or move into another lane.
Make signalling a habit, even if there is no one behind you – it’s a good practice to get into which can reduce the number of accidents on the road.
One of the most common driving mistakes and reasons for accidents on the road is speeding. Alarmingly, a staggering 78% of British motorists admit to driving over the speed limit.
It might be tempting to speed if you’re late for an appointment or picking the children up from school, but the likely risk of a speeding fine or being involved in a road traffic accident is not worth the time you might save.
When planning your journeys, try to leave at least ten minutes earlier than required to give yourself enough time to get to your destination and account for any busy traffic.
If you have cruise control, take advantage of it to help you maintain a lawful speed.
Improper use of mirrors
Using mirrors correctly is crucial for safe driving on the roads and is an essential habit to have as a driver. Not checking your mirrors or blind spot properly is a common driving test mistake but one that is easy to rectify.
Before changing direction, moving off, slowing down, turning, or overtaking, you must check your mirrors and make sure that other road users are aware of your intentions to allow them time to react. Always check your rear-view and appropriate side-view mirror every time you are ready to alter your direction.
A good tip to follow when adjusting your side wing mirrors is to ensure that the horizon is in the centre of the mirror. It is also important that you do not have to strain when using your mirrors, so take time to adjust your mirrors to a comfortable position.
So, there you have it – five common driving mistakes and how to avoid them.