May 30, 2017

Five Tips to Help Reduce Distracted Driving

A driver is being distracted by his cell phoneIn Florida and across the US, more and more accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted by text messages, ringing cell phones, or their own lack of awareness. It only takes a second for a distracted driver to take his/her eyes away from the road and collide with another vehicle, motorcycle, or even a pedestrian.

Distracted driving is a major contributor to automobile crashes across the US. Each year, between 4,000 and 8,000 automobile accidents related to distracted driving occur.  Several of these accidents result in catastrophic injury or death.  In the US, distracted driving contributes to nearly 50% of all automobile crashes reported each year

Tips for Avoiding Five Common Distracted Drivers 

  • Avoid Losing Focus and Prevent Driver Fatigue: Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night and abstain from driving if you’re sleep deprived. Avoid thinking ahead or worrying about plans while driving – work on keeping your attention on the road ahead and contemplate plans after you’ve arrived at your destination.
  • Put Down the Mobile Devices: Refrain from using your Smart phone to text, dial, talk, or surf the web while driving. Alternately, utilize a hands-free device or headset that allows you to keep your eyes on the road. Even with a hands-free device, limit conversations or only talk if the call is important. Tell the caller you’re on the road and finish the conversation after you’ve arrived. If a conversation ever becomes charged or engrossing, pull off the road and park somewhere safe while you talk.
  • Exercise Discipline over Roadside Distractions: If you happen to pass by an accident scene, sign-spinner, or other out-of-ordinary scene, discipline yourself and keep your eyes focused ahead. Refrain from glancing over or straining to get a look at the “carnage” of an accident, especially while your vehicle is in motion. It only takes a split second of distraction to create your own accident.
  • Limit Conversations Inside the Car: Ask your passengers to talk quietly or not to distract you with conversation while you’re driving. It’s in everyone’s best interests to arrive safely. If you carry on a conversation with your passenger, resist the urge to look over at him/her. Keep your eyes ahead and focused on traffic, while remembering to glance in your mirrors. If the conversation becomes distracting or engrossing, just like with the cell phone, pull over, park, and finish the conversation before driving further. Alternately, wait until you arrive to continue speaking.
  • Leave Interior Controls Alone: Avoid the urge to adjust climate controls, radio settings, vent positions, or mirror positions while the vehicle is in motion. Never adjust a seat while the car is moving. Set these controls before you set out on your route. If you need to adjust the climate or radio, wait until the car is stopped and waiting at a red light or intersection. Alternately, opt for a vehicle with automatic climate controls and/or redundant climate and sound system controls on the steering wheel. More and more cars are now equipped with redundant controls on the steering wheel, virtually eliminating a driver’s need for a driver to move his/her hands.

References:

Insurance Journal – http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/04/04/287259.htm

 

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