We all think about phones when it comes to distracted driving, but there can be many things going on inside your RV that can distract from safe driving. Dash displays, people, food, and pets can all take our attention from the roadway.

Dash

The fancy gizmos manufacturers install in car and RV dashes are pretty cool, but they can cause great distraction when they steal our attention from the roadway. This includes monitors for backup and side cameras. Familiarize yourself with any electronics you plan to use on the road before you set out on your trip. If you find yourself struggling to operate any one of these components while driving, abandon those attempts until you are stopped and can safely solve the issue. These devices provide convenience, not safety. Often the safest thing you can do is ignore the fancy electronics and just drive. The view out the windshield is much more important and interesting!

Food

As RVers, most of our lifestyles can accommodate leisurely driving days. When you get hungry, the safest choice is to stop driving to eat a meal. Whether you are brown bagging it, doing the drive through, or going to a restaurant, stopping to eat a meal should be a part of your trip planning. It is also a good chance to stretch those legs and take needed convenience breaks.

Some folks say you should never eat or drink while driving. For many people, that is unrealistic. If you eat or drink while driving, there are a few things to consider to do so more safely.

  • Choose foods that are vehicle friendly. Eating a cookie is easier than eating banana pudding while driving. Don’t eat anything that requires two hands. Save those tacos for the kitchen table.
  • Beverages sipped from a straw can be safer than drinking from a super-sized cup. You don’t want that large cup blocking your view each time you take a drink. If you choose not to use a straw, choose a slimmer container or bottle so your view is not blocked. And no matter how you choose to drink, always use a lid.
  • If you spill or make a mess, wait until you are safely stopped to clean it up. No potential carpet stain is worth injury or death.

People

While passengers can be a great help while driving, they can occasionally be a distraction. If you are in a tricky driving situation, like through a construction zone, around a detour, or in an unfamiliar city, don’t hesitate to stop a conversation until activity outside the vehicle returns to normal. If you are a passenger, you can help the driver by reading directional signs, helping with navigation, and looking for safe exits.

Pets

We restrain our children and other passengers while driving. Pets should also be restrained while driving. Having pets wander about the driver’s area is very dangerous putting the pet’s life, your life, and other families lives at risk. Pets can distract the driver, obstruct views, and get in the way of the accelerator and brake. Please properly restrain your pet before hitting the road for your safety, their safety, and the safety of other families on the road.

Links for Further Study:

National Safety Council Distracted Driving Research

National Safety Council Passenger Safety rights

National Safety Council White Paper on Distracted Driving