Distracted driving is becoming more apparent in the US. About nine people are killed every single day. In addition, there are over 1,000 injuries each day because of distractions while driving.
What are some types of distractions drivers face? There are many types of distractions that drivers face, however, there are three main types: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions occur when one takes their eyes off of the road; manual distractions occur when one takes their hands off the wheel; cognitive distractions occur when a person’s mind is not focused on driving.
Anything that has the ability to take your attention away from the road in front of you has the ability to distract you from driving and harm not only yourself but others around you. Activities that cause distractions while driving can be as little as inputting an address into a car’s GPS system to sending a one-word text or even glancing down to see if you received a notification. The CDC has found distracted driving injuries and deaths to steadily rise in the past decade.
Who is at most risk for distracted driving? Those who are under the age of twenty. It is clear as to why they are the ones most at risk too. With the increased engagement of social media platforms on the rise, individuals always want to stay connected — even when driving.
Individuals who reported texting and driving were also less likely to wear a seat belt, more likely to ride with a friend who had been intoxicated, and also more likely themselves to drive while intoxicated.
The numbers are quite scary. 42% of high school students who drove in the past thirty days have reported sending a text or checking social media while driving. In the year 2015, over 3,000 people were killed in a vehicle crash involving a distracted driver. Additionally, over 300,000 people were injured due to being involved in a vehicle with a distracted driver. Additional information on teen distracted driving, can be found on Teen Safe website.
What is being done to prevent distracted driving? Most states have enacted laws that have banned texting and driving. Since June 2017, more than 14 state
s have banned drivers from hand-held phone use. This includes checking social media, entering map directions, or any use of a cell-phone as a whole. However, this law hasn’t been enacted in the other 36 states — only texting and driving has. State officials must come to the consensus on the fact of individuals are not just using their devices for texting, but for many other reasons as well. Our federal government has taken action by implementing programs to help increase awareness of distracted driving, like the Distracted Driving Demonstration Projects. These projects helped increase the enforcement of distracted driving laws by police officials and helped raise awareness in whole. By taking this action, results were shown to be a success as observed driver cell phone use fell in multiple states: California fell from 4.1% to 2.7% and Connecticut fell from 4.5% to 3.0%.
Distracted driving doesn’t only happen to young drivers. They are the most vulnerable to being distracted because of their inexperience. If you have workers who are driving company vehicles, they too experience distracted driving. Does your company have a safety program in place, and does that program address driver safety? Do you have regular safety meetings specifically about driver safety topics? SCS Safety Health and Security Associates can assist your company in the development of a safety program regarding driver safety. They can also conduct safety meetings on topics like distracted driving, backing, merging, changing lanes and much more. A single auto collision can be detrimental to a company, in many ways, don’t let it happen to yours. For additional topics and information check out our website.