April highlights the need to stay focused on the roads
There are many ways a driver can be distracted while operating a vehicle including texting, talking on a cell phone (handheld and hands free), eating, operating a touchscreen in a vehicle, or any other activity which takes the driver’s eyes and mind off the task of driving.
In 2018, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that 2,841 deaths were attributed to distraction-affected crashes in the U.S.
This means that approximately eight people died every day from accidents that were completely preventable. In addition, during the same period, there were approximately 276,000 people injured and 659,000 crashes that resulted in property damage only.
It is important to understand there is no distinguishable reduction in risk while driving and talking on a handheld device and driving while talking on a hands free device. The cognitive distraction is virtually the same.
The best way to reduce the risk of having an accident related to the use of a cell phone is not to use a cell phone while driving. Period.
There is no conversation, email or text message worth injuring or killing another person. The majority of people surveyed about the use of cell phones while driving identify this behavior as a major public safety concern according the NSC.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person takes his or her eyes off the road for five seconds while reading or sending a text message. At 55 mph, this is the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It is impossible to safely operate a motor vehicle while driving blindfolded.
Throughout April, we will break down different types of distractions, dispel popular myths and provide helpful information to eliminate driving while distracted.
Be safe out there.
For more information and Safety and Loss Control, click here.