9 Causes of Distracted Driving

Riding a motorcycle requires your full attention, just as navigating your life’s Road does. If you allow your eyes to focus on something other than your destination, that’s where you’ll go.

There are many demands on scarce time and personal resources. Initially, they may seem equally important, yet if you take a step back and look at them in the grand scheme of things, many lose their urgency and significance.

Over time, directing energy to something that’s off course will drain you, making you less effective for those things you’ve decided are priorities.

small__3344239832The same distractions that put you at risk on your motorcycle, jeopardize your ability to reach goals in life.

9 Causes of Distracted Driving

 

Glare

This becomes a real hazard to riders, particularly in autumn when the sun is low in the sky. Even the best-polarized sunglasses can’t block it all.

When glaring challenges appear in life, the best choice for avoiding disaster is to stop and take corrective action. Stumbling along blindly sets you up for accidents and further delays.

Activity in other vehicles

Most bikes sit higher than cars and the rider can get quite an education by seeing what’s going on inside the cage. While it’s vital to anticipate the driver’s actions, fascinating as it may be, avoid focusing on activities that are not going to affect you.

Likewise in life. It’s easy to get pulled into other people’s problems. As much as you’d like to help, the first priority must be with yourself and tending to your own needs.

Visual Distractions

You find yourselves in a traffic jam because rubberneckers are curious about something that happened in another lane, that’s headed in a different direction and on the other side of a barrier.

It’s just as easy to get sidetracked like this in life by something that catches your eye. It slows you down, confuses those around you and puts you at risk of harm – and not making your destination.

Day dreaming

Riding along on a beautiful day can lull you into complacency and a tendency to let your mind wander. Your brain state drifts from beta alertness to alpha relaxation – not a good thing when you’re operating a motorcycle. While there’s no question of the Zen quality of riding, you still need to remain attentive.

Whether on your bike or life’s Road, persistent difficulty maintaining focus means it’s time for a rest.

Searching for directions

Trying to find an address, you wipe the rain from your visor, slow down, watch for traffic, observe stop lights, avoid potholes, look at road signs, navigate around streetcar tracks and keep an eye out for jay-walkers. It’s tricky to do while maintaining balance, avoiding the wrath of other drivers, becoming tense and crashing into something.

If you know you’re going into a busy time with lots of demands on your time and personal resources, the more you can plan and prepare, the easier it will be to arrive at your destination safely.

Scenery

Feeling immersed in nature while riding through forests, across plains or along the ocean, is a highlight of riding. It’s when I feel the most connected to Spirit. But I’m still a mortal being and need to watch the road.

Tending to body as well as mind and soul on life’s journey, keeps you balanced, healthy and joyful.

Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are signals your body sends off indicating something is amiss and needs attention, regardless of what you’re doing.

Whether you’re on your bike or your Road, this distraction means it’s time to take a break and tend to other priorities before proceeding.

Poor fitting gear

You wear gear to protect yourself from weather, flying objects of all sizes and the road. Armor (padding) needs to end up in the right position should it be called into action. One size does not fit all and whatever you wear must be right for you and the situation. Gear that is too tight, too loose or just plain doesn’t work makes you uncomfortable, contributes to fatigue and isn’t going to give you the protection you need.

If you’re to be of service to others, your first priority is in caring for your Self and your unique needs, not taking on a role or wearing something that was meant for someone else.

Noise

Whether it’s a radio turned up loud, iPods, loud bikes or two-way radios, all noise is sensory input your brain has to process. This is in addition to all the other inputs you have to deal with.

Avoid taking on too much, keep things simple and stay focused. No matter which road you’re on, it keeps you relaxed, alert and in a better frame of mind.

It’s easy for buzz to distract you. It attracts your attention and your energy, but has no bearing on where you’re going. Watch letting distractions lure you away from your purpose. Don’t be a distracted driver, on your motorcycle or on your life’s road.

 

 

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

Posted in Life Lessons from Motorcycles
2 comments on “9 Causes of Distracted Driving
  1. Jim says:

    I commute 75 miles daily via Interstate hwy. I have hands-free bluetooth & always use it on a less-trafficky road, but tell my callers to hold when I’m passing another car/another passing me or if I need to pay greater attn to what I’m doing. After all – I am operating a 2-ton machine which can potentially kill! It makes me absolutely BONKERS when I see others driving 80mph while: HOLDING a cellphone & yakking away while driving dangerously; Or someone reading the stock pages (i.e, tiny print!) while driving; Or putting on eye makeup – with two hands & closing her eyes, for god sake! When I’m behind these people, I see them weaving even off the pavement at times and I think they’re drunk (at 6 am?)! But when I pass them, I see they are really performing one of the above, so I get as far away from them as possible – even if it means I exit and wait a bit – as I know they are an accident waiting to happen or about to cause one.

    What annoys me most is that I never see any police officers ever pull them off the road for this recklessness! And we (NY) even have a law that requires hands-free cellphone use!

    • lizjansen says:

      I see the same things Jim. Ontario requires hands-free too. I’m also hearing of more tickets for cell-phone usage so they’re catching some of them, just not enough!

      Thanks for your comments.

      Liz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Subscribe to Blog!

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive new posts by email.