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Driving without Distraction

Driving without Distraction

Its hard to fully comprehend the risks of driving while distracted. Even with an arsenal of statistics on hand, we fail to connect the dots between ourselves and the risks we take on a regular basis. We tell ourselves well only make one phone call, send one text, or smoke one cigarette. We assume other passengers cant distract us from driving safely.


All of these assumptions are wrong. According to Distraction.gov, more than three thousand people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 from distracted driving alone. In the same year, more than one hundred billion text messages were sent in the United States every month.

When it comes down to it, one phone call, one text message, or one cigarette can change everything. This is what the National Safety Council tried to teach viewers when it released its most recent PSA, which featured a dangerous car accident after a single accepted phone call.

Below are the most popular distractions in vehicles today - and how to avoid them.


1. Cigarettes

If youre taking a long road trip and arent used to going several hours without a cigarette, pull over each hour. Its always better to pull over than to smoke in the car. Not only can you distract other drivers, but you can easily distract yourself when lighting a cigarette and rolling down your window.

Driving without Distraction

2. Alcohol

Driving while under the influence is, fortunately, one of the few distractions that the federal government has made illegal. If you choose to drink away from home, you should always have a designated driver. Your designated driver should be completely sober. Even one drink is too much before operating a motor vehicle.


3. Texting

Texting is a new and incredibly dangerous distraction. Not only are you focused on something other than driving, but you are actually removing your hands from the wheel and your eyes from the roadway. Never text while driving. Instead, ask a friend to monitor texts for you - or use an application that will automatically alert anyone who attempts to contact you while driving.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average text takes your eyes off the road long enough to cover a football field. If a police officer catches you texting, you will almost certainly be pulled over and given a ticket.


4. Calling

Though phone calls are less extreme than text messages, they are still considered a distraction. Both your mind and your hands could be removed from the wheel, even if your eyes remain on the road. Sometimes, we dont really see the ground in front of us - especially when were focused on something else. Phone calls can wait. If the same person calls you multiple times and youre worried about an emergency, find a safe place to pull over and take the call. You dont want to receive bad news while driving.


Driving without Distraction

5. Other Distractions

According to End Distracted Driving, there are three types of distractions. These types include manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions take place when you move your hands away from the wheel. Visual distractions take place when you move your eyes from the roadway. Cognitive distractions take place when you are no longer thinking about driving. Texting involves all three distractions, while drunk driving involves two. Regardless, any distraction should be avoided while driving, even the minor ones.

Roadway safety is invaluable, especially as new technology becomes available to distract drivers from the task at hand. Avoid distractions altogether and youll be far safer - not to mention more likely to reach your destination.


Photo via Pixabay


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