Why Are You So Distracted?
Why Are You So Distracted?
Lately I have become increasingly less tolerant of bad driving. I have been cut off and nearly hit more times than I would like to remember. After a very near miss today on the highway, I came home and began to do a little research into what is distracting everyone while they drive.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers face three different types of distractions every time they get behind the wheel:
Visual Distraction: A visual distraction is anytime you are not looking at the road.
Cognitive Distraction: A cognitive distraction happens when you are no longer thinking about your driving.
Manual Distraction: A manual distraction is anytime you take your hands from the steering wheel.
I’m going to ask you right now what you are doing in your car that makes you less attentive to the road. Perhaps talking on a cell phone, putting on makeup, eating or drinking, reading a map, talking to other people inside of the car, maybe trying to soothe a crying baby? Or maybe you’re just in a time crunch? Do any of these sound familiar to you? Are you guilty of doing any of these things? I am the first to admit that I eat in the car with all of the different things going on in life eating in the car seems to have become somewhat typical for most families. I have occasionally answered a call but never tried to dial or text on the road. I cannot understand how people can see those tiny keypads and drive at the same time. Let me just say, that scares me beyond words! I don’t want to be on the road next to you while you try to type out a message to a friend, can I be selfish to say that I want your eyes on the road?
Did you know that according to a study done at the University of Utah, driving while talking on a phone decreases your reaction time to the equivalent of driving with the legal limit of blood alcohol levels? This is truly scary!
Let me see if you can guess the age group with the highest number of distracted driving accidents? If you selected those under the age of 20 you would be correct! Some of these statistics would be a great talking point with your teens. I currently have a teen in driver’s education and we often critique driving situations and discuss safe and unsafe driving. I will tell you honestly, she is frightened to take to the highway.
And according to the (FARS) or Fatal Analysis Reporting System, the overall percentage of fatal crashes increased from 10% in 2005 to 16% in 2009. These numbers are growing and we must do something to change these alarming statistics.
One first step we can all make is to put away our cell phones and give the roads our full attention. Through our actions we can also effectively teach our children proper and patient driving skills. Another really great lesson to learn from these statistics is to slow down just a bit and learn to be more patient with others on the roadways. Road rage simply will not have any positive effects on your driving so try to refrain from getting too angry about a situation. If you do find yourself overwhelmed with frustration, maybe pull off to the side of the road or stop and get a cup of coffee and gather your thoughts. After all, we only have one life and it’s a gift, take care and safe travels everyone!
Learn Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Take Action to Avoid Driving Distractions
It may seem harmless to answer a quick call, grab a bite to eat or let your dog ride in your lap when you’re behind the wheel. But in 2008, accidents caused by distracted drivers injured about 515,000 people. It takes two hands, a sharp eye, and your
National Highway Traffic Safety
- Distracted Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration | Texting and Driving
Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating. Click here to learn the facts about distracted driving.
CDC Motor Vehicle Safety and Injury Prevention
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