How to stay focused on the road

Without a doubt, mobile phones are one of the biggest distractions for drivers today. Not only can the use of a mobile phone hinder a driver’s ability to use the roads safely, if caught using your phone in Queensland you will receive a $378 fine and accumulate three demerit points.

Drivers can be willingly or unwillingly distracted and potential distractions can involve activities aside from mobile phones, including calming a child in the back of the car, changing the song or radio station, eating and grooming.

There are three different types of distraction:

  1. Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  2. Physical – taking your hands off the steering wheel
  3. Cognitive – taking your mind or attention off the driving task

All drivers are susceptible to being distracted and therefore it is important to train ourselves to choose more appropriate times to deal with certain things, that can otherwise become potential distractions while driving.

RACQ encourages drivers to use the ‘Not Now’ approach to managing and reducing the occurrence and impact of driver distractions. This approach relies on the driver making the driving task their primary priority.

To help avoid being distracted while driving we recommend the following tips:

  • Putting away your mobile phone for the duration of your trip.
  • Set-up and adjust vehicle settings like air conditioning, radio station and GPS destination before setting off.
  • Take a break from driving to eat, drink, or groom yourself, or do it once you reach your destination.
  • Ensure your pets and any objects in the vehicle are properly restrained and tied down.

One of the most important tips is being able to recognise what makes you distracted and either avoid the distraction while you are driving or find a safe place to pull the car over and handle the distraction. For most people that is the mobile phone, and that’s why it is important to #bagaphonenotabody.

Learn more about RACQ’s road safety campaign: Bag a phone, not a body.