Got home from practice last night, and settled in to watch Cougar Town. Yes, I'm hooked on it, it's really a funny show. Well the characters started talking about texting while driving, and how Oprah was now highlighting the dangers. It must have been a rerun, since she did that months ago. Well, Jules, the character that Courtney Cox plays, was joking around, talking on her cell, putting on makeup, and then pointing at other drivers. The next thing you know, she is driving through a fence, and into a pool. Funny on TV, but in reality, it is dangerous.
The Insurance Information Institute today released some disturbing statistics about "Distracted Driving." Driver distractions or inattentive driving play a part in one out of every four motor vehicle crashes. That is more than 1.5 million collisions a year and 4,300 crashes daily, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Text messaging, changing radio stations, even turning around to talk to passengers can prove deadly, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Cellphones and text messaging are the biggest cause of most accidents, drivers are also distracted by using PDAs, laptops and navigational aids while driving. Other drivers are distracted when they eat, drink, read, write or groom themselves when their full attention should be on the road in front of them. All of these can lead to a accident.
So, what do you do? Obviously, if you need to talk on the phone, hands free is the only way to do it. You will still be distracted while talking, so that isn't even recommended. Texting, reading, and using of other electronics will take your eyes off the road. Think about closing your eyes while driving for 5 seconds. I bet you wouldn't try it, but it is the equivalent to reading text or email on a PDA.
The I.I.I. recommends the following safety tips when driving:
-Pull Off the Road
-Don’t drive while calling or texting; pull off the road to a safe location.
-Use Speed Dialing
-Program frequently called numbers and your local emergency number into the speed dial feature of your phone for easy, one-touch dialing. when available, use auto answer or voice-activated dialing.
-Never Dial While Driving
-If you must dial manually, do so only when stopped. Pull off the road, or better yet, have a passenger dial for you.
-Take a Message
-Let your voice mail pick up your calls in tricky driving situations. It's easy—and safer—to retrieve your messages later on.
-Know When to Stop Talking
-Keep conversations on the phone and in the car brief so you can concentrate on your driving. if a long discussion is required, if the topic is stressful or emotional, or if driving becomes hazardous, end your conversation and continue it once you are off the road.
-Keep the Phone in Its Holder
-Make sure your phone is securely in its holder when you are not using it so it does not pop out and distract you when you are driving.
-Don't Take Notes While Driving
-If you need to write something down, use a tape recorder or pull off the road.
-Don't Eat or Drink While Driving
-Spills, both hot and cold, can easily cause an accident. If you have to stop short, you could also be severely burned.
-Groom Yourself At Home
-Shaving, putting on makeup, combing your hair or other forms of preening are distractions and should be done at home, not while driving.
Make sure that you share these tips with Teens. They are less experienced in driving, and are also more likely to use these devices. I know, you are busy, and need to multi-task. But having your day interrupted by an accident will be a lot worse than taking a few minutes to pull off the road and take care of business.
For more information, call us at 888-900-2173.