If you’re a driver, you’ve more than likely seen “that car”. The one that drifts aimlessly in and out of their lane or jerks erratically across the road. The one that does not move with the flow of traffic, or perhaps the car that proceeds unexpectedly at intersections. In many cases, these scenarios and many others can be attributed to distracted driving. We all have heard the dangers distracted driving poses to not just you, but every driver around you. So why do people distract themselves behind the wheel? Many assume that they are skilled enough to multi-task safely or consider a quick text no big deal. According to the DMV’s website, distracted driving was the cause of nearly 3,500 deaths in 2015. The NSC also estimates that 25% of all vehicle crashes involve cell phone usage.
Distracted driving, while commonly associated with texting, has several forms, all of which increase the risk of an accident.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are three types of distraction:
(taking your hands off the steering wheel)
(taking your eyes of the road)
(not focusing on driving)
These types of distraction can lead to inattentive blindness, when a driver fails to see and process their driving environment. Cell phones can cause all three types of distraction. In fact, a study from the University of Utah showed the reaction time of a driver using a cell phone is slower than that of someone with a .08 blood alcohol level.
Due to the increase in cellphone related accidents, there are currently a number of apps that can reduce or eliminate cellphone distractions. From locking the phone while the vehicle is in motion or disabling notifications, there are several choices to monitor distracted driving. One such app to consider is the Lifesaver App. This app is great for both parents or young drivers or business owners with fleet drivers. The free app disables phone use when a vehicle is in motion and allows for monitoring should the driver attempt to use the phone while in motion. Learn more about the Lifesaver App here.
The NSC, in honor of April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, is offering a free 45 minute online course to help teach your young drivers about the dangers associated with DD, here.
While cellphones are commonly the focus of distracted driving, your driving habits may be distracting without ever looking at your phone. Distractions including eating, grooming, or dealing with non-driving functions while behind the wheel. Though it can be tempting to check a text or reach for your fast food, it can increase the risk of an accident by up to 23 times! No matter what, it can wait.
For more information on how to protect yourself behind the wheel, just call us at 724-929-2300. We can tailor an auto insurance policy to fit your needs and will compare prices with some of the biggest names in the industry to get you the best price on the right coverage for you the first time.