Are you ready to bet your life on your multitasking skills while driving? Every day in the U.S., 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes which involve a distracted driver. 1
All of us from time to time make the mistake of driving while being fatigued, not focusing due to work, home issues or just plain daydreaming.
Clearly, technology has made the issue of distracted driving worse. A quick view of other drivers on the road verify the statistics showing increased use of smartphones while driving and unfortunately a steep spike in roadway deaths due to texting while driving.
Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).2 The agency reports that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent — when traveling at 55 mph — of driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.3
While driving and texting ranks at the top for common distractions, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), categorizes distracted driving into three main categories
Types of Distractions
Manual Distractions: Manual distractions include the aforementioned cell phone use, eating food, drinking, spilling your coffee, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and more.
Visual Distractions: This category includes distractions which limit your view or removes your attention to the task and the road at hand. This includes the sun, other vehicles, landscaping, poor road lighting and much more.
Cognitive Distractions: This is a big category, which many of us also find ourselves experiencing frequently. Have you ever arrived at your destination while realizing you don’t remember getting there? Daydreaming and not focusing on the task of driving open you up to these issues. Fatigue is also a large contributor to road accidents and deaths. Driving while fatigued limits one’s ability to properly assess and respond to the challenges of driving.
While we all would like to think that we are bulletproof, life proves otherwise and driving while distracted has proven to be a large contributor to accidents and untimely departures from this world.
Driving proactively and keeping your mind focused will contribute to not only your safely but also to that of other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and road workers. There is a time and place for multitasking and it isn’t while driving a vehicle. Don’t bet your life and those around you because you can’t handle the Pavlovian response to that of your ringtone. Hang up and drive!
What are you doing to stay focused on the road? Let us know! Send us an email to email@example.com and sound off.
- National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Distracted Driving: 2015, in Traffic Safety Research Notes. DOT HS 812 381. March 2017, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Washington, D.C.
- Wilms, Todd. It Is Time For A ‘Parental Control, No Texting While Driving’ Phone. Forbes Business, September 18, 2012.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012. DOT HS 811 629