Many companies compete for your attention when driving because it makes them money. Yet, allowing them to take your attention makes it more likely you crash and are injured. When that happens, you can be sure none of those companies will be waiting at your hospital bed to help with medical fees.
Driving distractions have existed ever since Henry Ford rolled his first Model T onto the road. Yet, there are far more now than ever. Smartphones are one of the most obvious problems, yet even if you switch off your phone and lock it in the trunk, companies will try to get your attention in other ways.
3 ways companies compete for driver attention
Here are three everyday distractions that you may not have realized are distracting you when driving:
- Billboards: These are part of American culture, and no road trip would be complete without seeing signs for motels, soft drinks or the best coffee in town. Yet billboards and the ads they display have become more frequent and better at holding your attention than ever. Think Wonderbra’s classic “Hello Boys” ad or the flashing screens of Times Square.
- Snack and drinks to go: The companies that sell these tell you it is convenient. The reality is that to-go meals are dangerous, as eating or drinking requires you to take your eyes off the road and a hand (or two) off the wheel.
- In-car fixtures: Your car now comes with a cupholder to make it easier for you to drink a coffee while driving and systems that make it easier to use your phone on the move. Car manufacturers may argue they are helping you drive more safely, but making it easier to drink or use your phone while driving makes it more likely that you do.
Being aware of companies’ attempts to take your attention away from the road is essential to avoid them succeeding. Yet many drivers are blissfully unaware of where their attention is until they crash into you. When that happens, you need to hold them responsible for your injuries. While companies can try to grab their attention, they are the ones in charge of the car.