Top 5 Reasons To Stop Driving Distracted
Everyone knows that distracted driving can be dangerous. Yet, most drivers are guilty of engaging in it daily. Campaigns are being launched all across the country to highlight the same scary slogans and statistics as the National Drowsy Driving Awareness Month.
Are we becoming deafened to the dangers presented by billboards and radio waves? Distracted driving poses serious dangers. However, they are often ignored or overlooked by drivers who want to multitask or check Facebook.
Distracted driving: Why not?
Distracted driving can be a problem for any driver. Move Car Auto Transport's passionate team compiled the following Top Five Driving "Don'ts" to cut through the generic caution. They also included the most interesting and relevant facts.
1) Do not text behind the wheel
It's a fact we all know: texting while driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving. Two-thirds (63%) of drivers are aware of the dangers associated with texting and driving. The problem is so prevalent that the U.S. Department of Transportation launched Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It also ran a nationwide enforcement campaign.
From April 10 to 15, state and local law enforcement will aggressively ticket drivers who text or use their handheld devices behind the wheel. For reasons other than the enforcement crackdown, texting is the top slot on our list.
You can't see the road when you are checking a text. You'll drive 55 mph blindly, which is the equivalent of driving on a football field. New voice-to-text tools can put you at greater risk than traditional texting (Texas A&M Transportation Institute Study).
2) Do not distract yourself
Distracted driving is when you drive a vehicle while doing something else. Distracted driving includes activities many consider part of driving. Listening to the radio, speaking with another passenger, setting the temperature, and drinking coffee are just a few examples. Listening to music can have surprising effects on your driving.
Distractions can be anything that distracts you from the task of driving. Driving requires you to pay attention at all times and give your best effort mentally, physically, and visually. Driving alone is dangerous if you take your eyes off of the road or your hands off of the wheel.
3) Don't believe the multitasking liar
People drive distracted when they try to make the most of their drive-time. Your brain switches between tasks, even though you may think you're doing two things simultaneously. Your brain cannot handle more than one piece of information, so it is impossible to do two things simultaneously.
Your brain can actually slow down your reaction time when it tries to quickly and often switch focus. This is called the psychological refractory interval. Multitasking can cause slower reaction times in drivers than those who have been drinking.
4) Don't Waste Your Time
According to the American Psychological Association, multitasking can lead to psychological refractory periods that make you less productive by up to 40%. You lose valuable brainpower by switching mental focus, and you are also less likely to be fully focused on one task. You are not only putting your life at risk but also wasting your time. You also have to be careful with switching between tasks, as it can disrupt your ability to process, remember, and store information.
5) Avoid making bad decisions
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, distracted driving is responsible for nearly one-third (or more) of all traffic collisions. What is the cause of so many accidents caused by distractions? Driving requires a lot of brainpower, even though you may not be aware. Drivers make 200 decisions during every mile traveled.
A poll conducted by the National Safety Council found that over half of respondents believed talking on the phone was safe when using a hands-free device. However, studies have shown that even using a hands-free device can cause distractions. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, drivers who talk on their phones are four times more likely than others to be involved in traffic accidents.
It would be foolish to make a life-altering decision while having a conversation with someone else. Why would you make that same mistake to yourself when trying to make 200 life-changing decisions?
Leave Your Phone Behind
It is impossible to avoid being distracted by things while driving. However, you can manage distractions by using DRIVE preparation.
Drive only: Distracted driving can be dangerous. You can only dedicate your time to driving. You will arrive at your destination feeling more relaxed. Remember that because of the psychological resistance period. Everything you do while driving, including planning and conversing, will be more efficient or memorable if it is done in its own time.
Ready for the Road: Set navigation and music prior to setting off.
Involve Others: Designate passers to act as navigators, and ask them to answer important texts and calls for you.
Volume Off: Turn off your ringer, text notifications and turn off the radio before you get in your car.
Eliminate Expectation Send a message to your voicemail stating that you will not answer calls or texts while driving. Set a special ringtone to be available for urgent calls if you are required to be on call. To return calls, pull over when it is safe to do so.
Find out more about the U.S.'s history, regulations, and current awareness campaigns. The official website of the government is dedicated to distracted driving prevention.
Be safe, fellow travelers!