Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distractions are everywhere. It could be a visual, noise, mental, or even an emotional distraction. Things like high winds and debris in the road can catch a distracted driver off guard. Distractions are the number 1 factor in most crashes. Cell phones are a huge contributor to the majority of crashes that occur each year. It was stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that 42% of all distracted drivers that had accidents were at least 40 years of age or older. It is not just teen drivers causing crashes.
Something that inhibits one’s ability to perceive hazards and react properly in time. The most common distractions listed are cell phones, passengers, pets, eating/drinking, day dreaming, and objects outside of the vehicle such as road signs and bill boards.
It is important for management to educate drivers on how distractions impede the ability to stop a vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
Here are some interesting figures that I came across. (To figure stopping distance multiply the current speed (MPH) times 1.5. This is feet traveled per second (FTS). For example, a tractor-trailer traveling at 65 MPH travels approximately 100 feet per second (65 x 1.5 = 97.5 FTS) At this speed, one can travel the length of a football field (300 ft.) in just a few seconds. If the driver is not completely focused on the road anything can happen.
Here are a few ways to reduce distractions behind the wheel:
Drivers need to review their trip before leaving and program their GPS accordingly. If adjustments are needed, instruct them to pull over in a safe place and enter a new destination before resuming their trip.
Be Mentally and Emotionally Sharp:
Get adequate rest the night before. Never rely on caffeine or energy drinks. Avoid heavy meals. Exercise regularly to boost energy and relieve stress. Set up a call schedule with your family, as a driver should not be answering calls or replying to texts while driving. Keep your cell phone out of reach and allow calls to go to voicemail. When parked in a safe location you can return calls and texts.
Be Attentive to the Road Ahead:
Keep your eyes forward and only make quick glances to mirrors. If hazards are present, like bad weather or construction zones, slow down and leave extra time to stop your vehicle.
I hope that whoever reads this finds this information handy to them. If you have any suggestions please comment below as we should all be learning something new each day!! Thanks for stopping by!!