If you scroll down to the bottom of the Telesis Collision Center home page you will find some distracted driving and safety driving metrics that will blow your mind. Although many of us understand the importance of driving safely, do we really know HOW dangerous it is not NOT drive safely and distraction free?
Many people think of texting or talking on the phone while driving as distracted driving. But, distracted driving really means anything that causes you NOT to pay full attention to your surroundings and the road.
Examples of other driving distractions include:
- Digging in your bag or purse
- Changing the radio station
- Eating or drinking
- Checking or adjusting your navigation
- Reaching for something
- Self grooming or applying make-up
- Snapping a pic
- Talking with passengers in the vehicle
- Letting your dog sit in your lap
University of Utah’s psychology professor David Strayer provides an interesting fact. He found that a driver continues to be distracted for up to 27 sections after disconnecting from a highly distracting phone &/or car voice-command system. “Most people think, ‘I hang up and I’m good to go,’” Strayer says. “But that’s just not the case. We see it takes a surprisingly long time to come back to full attention. Even sending a short text message can cause almost another 30 seconds of impaired attention.”
That is just wild! So, in short – a quick frustrating moment with your navigation system via voice command causes you to be unable to give your full attention to your driving for 27 seconds afterward. Imagine that highly emotional phone call you just ended over the blue-tooth enabled speakers. You will still be distracted for a minimum of 27 seconds even after you’ve ended the call.
Another fact that Telesis Collision Center has on our home page is that sending or receiving a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 6 seconds. Yet going 55 mph, in 6 seconds, you would drive the length of an entire football field, BLIND! If you were thinking of shooting that quick text message or peeking at an incoming message you should think again. IT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT!
There are many ways to reduce distractions while driving. Here are 10 ways that are easy to put in place and could help save your life and the lives of others:
- Wait until you are at your destination to adjust your make-up or hair
- Never allow animals to sit on your lap while driving
- Avoid eating or drinking while driving
- Do not take notes while driving
- Do not use a phone or a hands free phone during bad weather, heavy traffic or work zones
- Use your cell phone for emergencies only
- If you are drowsy, pull off the road
- Save the serious discussions for later
- Organize your items before hitting the road
- Let your passengers help you out – let them help with your navigation, change the station or send a text for you.
Although we live in a world where we are constantly on the go and multi-tasking is a way of life; when you are driving, multi-tasking should not be an option.
Driving is a privilege and a responsibility. We have our lives at stake and the lives of others when we get behind the wheel.
The Telesis Collision Center team encourages you not to let a distraction turn deadly!