Even though almost all motorists understand that driving requires their full attention, most drivers find themselves distracted at some point while driving. Distracted driving can lead to collisions, injury and even death. There are simple measures that drivers can follow to avoid driving while distracted. Removing the distractions will lead to more attentive driving and reduce the risk of a collision.
Anything that can take a driver’s attention off the road is considered a driving distraction and can adversely affect a driver’s awareness, performance and decision making ability. Common distractions that can occur while the vehicle is in motion include the following: operating electronic devices, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, using a navigation device, adjusting the radio, talking with passengers, eating and personal grooming.
Research has shown that up to 80% of all crashes involve some type of driver distraction. Distracted drivers increase the risk factor for not only themselves, but pose a danger to passengers, other motorists and bystanders.
By following some simple guidelines, drivers can reduce their propensity of driving while distracted, thus diminishing the occurrence of collisions.
- Motorists should not operate a cell phone in any capacity while operating a vehicle. Even a hands free cell phone can have a harmful effect on driving.
- Drivers should set their navigation equipment prior to commencing travel. If the need to change course should arise, drivers should pull off to a safe area away from the road and re-set their system.
- Drivers should not change the radio stations while the vehicle is in motion, in fact leaving the radio off or keeping it at a low volume will help to reduce distractions.
- Drivers should not allow passengers to distract them while driving. Passengers should respect that the driver is operating the vehicle and the number one priority is its’ safe operation.
Drivers should be aware that they have an obligation to operate their vehicle in a safe manner with their utmost undivided attention. Avoiding distractions while driving will ultimately reduce the risk of collisions.