Distracted Driving: Safety Topics - May 2021 - Week 2


Monday - What Distractions Do Drivers Face Every Day?

According to the website End Distracted Driving, “…distracted drivers on America’s roads cause a minimum of 3,100 deaths and over 400,000 injuries each year and that 67% of drivers continue to use their cell phones while driving DESPITE knowing the danger.” Are you in that 67%?

Keep in mind that there are many things competing for our attention at any given time and there are three main types of distractions:

Visual — taking your eyes off the road            Manual — taking your hands off the wheel             Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing

Were you just visualizing yourself driving down the road, eating a burger and not holding onto the steering wheel? Have you ever arrived somewhere and have no memory of driving there? If you do – you need to put the brakes on, put the burger down and try to ONLY drive while you are in the car. If your mind wanders, recognize that and actively bring your focus back to the road in front of you. Review the chart below to see just how large of an impact distracted driving is having in our communities and think about all the times you and your loved ones are on the roads with distracted drivers, or as a distracted driver.

Tuesday - Driving Safety – Don’ts

  • Do not send or read texts when you are operating a motor vehicle
  • Do not use your cell phone, also don’t set your phone on your lap when you drive – that’s one more flying projectile you will have to worry about
  • Don’t touch up your makeup or hair while driving – you look beautiful as long as you arrive safely
  • Be careful what you eat when you are driving. While you can probably sneak a few French fries when you are behind the wheel, eating a giant hamburger, tacos,

salads, ice cream, etc. will detract from your focus on the road and occupy your hands while they should be occupied by the steering wheel

  • Drive under the influence of drugs and or alcohol
  • Drive aggressively, tailgate or speed. We have all looked at other drivers and seen someone waving their hands angrily, yelling – even swearing. Is that going to solve anything – No, it will just raise your blood pressure and make it even harder to stay focused on the road

Wednesday - Driving Safety – Dos

  • Avoid distractions, such as adjusting the radio or other controls, eating or drinking, and talking or texting on the phone
  • Continually search the roadway to be alert to situations requiring quick action
  • Stop about every two hours for a break. Get out of the vehicle to stretch, take a walk, and get refreshed.
  • Reduce your stress by planning your route ahead of time, allow plenty of travel time, and avoiding crowded roadways and busy driving times when possible
  • Adjust your speed and increase your following distance when carrying heavier than normal loads and when you are towing
  • Use a seat belt at all times – driver and passengers
  • Adjust your driving for the conditions, including traffic, weather, pedestrians, rough roads and degree of light
  • Drive defensively
  • Use a hands-fee device for phone use if you have to use the phone while driving
  • Be well-rested before driving
  • Avoid taking medication that makes you drowsy before driving, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • When on a road trip, set a realistic goal for the number of miles that you can drive safely each day

Thursday - Things to Keep In Mind:

  • In 2019, distracted driving was a reported factor in 8.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes. (NHTSA)
  • 42% of high school students across the United States admitted that they text or email while driving. (TeenDriversSource)
  • Roughly 20% of injuries occurring in car accident crashes involve distracted driving. (NHTSA)
  • Distracted driving claims eight lives per day — approximately 3,500 per year (CDC).
  • More than 400,000 motorists were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving and 2,800 deaths occurred as a result.  (CDC)
  • Drivers are distracted by their phones at least 10% of their driving time. (NHTSA)
  • 47 states (including California) have bans on texting while driving. (IIHS)
  • What do you think about these statistics? What can you do today to change?

Free Speech Friday:

Have you ever been in a situation of distracted driving or know someone who has?

Please share your story and what you learned from it.


Tags: safety topic , Distracted , Driving ,

Subscribe to Updates

Weekly Safety Topics and Coming Events