Did you know that 9 people are killed every day a result of distracted driving?
While there are many distractions that can take a motorist's attention away from the road, texting and driving is one of the most severe. Unfortunately, drivers often don't take the danger of texting and driving that seriously.
While many people would never think of driving while drunk, surveys indicate that as many as 75% of drivers admit to texting and driving.
Ready to kill your distracted driving habit and stay safe on the road? Keep reading to learn more.
If three-quarters of the population does something, it can be easy to wonder whether it really is all that dangerous after all.
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that some research has shown distracted driving to potentially be even riskier than drunk driving. Studies show that drivers who were distracted while texting had even longer response times than drunk drivers. This is for several reasons.
First, texting while driving involves takes the driver's eyes off of the road.
Think about it: it might seem like you are only taking a few seconds to send a text. But in reality, you are taking at least 1-3 seconds to read it, and probably 3-6 seconds to send a response.
That's nearly 10 seconds with your eyes off of the road! A lot can happen in 10 seconds, especially when you're traveling over 100 kilometers per hour.
But it's not just the matter of taking your eyes off of the road or your hands off of the wheel. It's also about distracting your mind from the task at hand.
Driving is an inherently dangerous activity that requires a high level of brain function. Reading a text, understanding that text, and crafting a response takes a level of cognitive function that detracts from your ability to focus on driving.
Often, when we use our phone while driving, it's because we saw a notification go off on our phone.
Maybe it's a text from your spouse, and you want to make sure everything is okay. Maybe you started looking at a social media comment at a stoplight, and you finish typing your response after the light turns green.
The best way to avoid these situations is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Any easy way to make sure you don't see these notifications is to make sure you don't see your phone. Placing your phone in the glove compartment or the back seat can help you keep your eyes and hands off of it.
Sometimes, we can use excuses to justify what we know is dangerous behavior. For instance, if you know that someone may be trying to reach you with important information about your job or your family, you may justify using your phone while driving to have the conversation.
In reality, no matter how important the conversation is, it's not worth risking your life or someone else's. If you know there are text conversations you need to monitor while you are driving, the best solution is to make a habit of taking more frequent stops.
Even without the issue of answering text messages, it's a good practice to make regular stops while driving. It gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs, which helps prevent blood clots. It also helps to clear your head and prevent drowsiness, which can be another major source of distraction.
So, if you feel like you really need to check your text messages, pull over, get out, and take a walk. Not only will you have the chance to reply safely, but you will be more refreshed when you get back in the vehicle.
For some drivers, it may not be an option to have your phone tucked away. Many drivers these days use their phones for navigation, which means they need to be able to look at it while driving.
Installing an app on your phone to block calls, texts, and social media notifications while the vehicle is in motion is a great way to avoid the temptation of responding to a notification.
In some cases, you can set up an autoresponse to calls or text messages. This way, whoever is trying to contact you will know that you are not avoiding them, but that it simply is unsafe for you to respond.
This way, you can still have your navigation application open without any other distractions.
If you are going to use your phone for navigation, it's important to have it in a position where you can quickly glance at it, and then look back at the road. You don't want to hold it in your hand, which will lead to one-handed driving. You also don't want to try to balance it on your lap, where it can easily slip off.
This is where a mount comes in handy. A mount that connects to your vehicle's air vent or dashboard will allow your phone to rest at just about eye level. This allows you to reference the directions without having to futz with your phone.
It's important for all drivers to avoid distraction, but it is especially crucial for those who drive commercially. If you drive for work, or you manage a fleet of drivers, it is your responsibility to protect civilians by preventing distracted driving.
Ready to get the tools you need for success? Contact us today to get a free pilot of our program designed to end distracted driving.