Many factors increase the probability of being in a car accident; speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, cell phone use, mechanical failures, and driver distractions, among others; is what Evelyn Calabuch, General Agent of American US Insurance, a Florida Independent Insurance Agency, thinks. In the United States, figures from the National Safety Council estimate that 1.6 million accidents occur every year in the US, attributed to distracted drivers using their phones while on the road.
There are three main categories of distraction while driving:
A visual interruption is something that makes a driver take their eyes off the road. Losing visual control over your vehicle for 4.6 seconds (the average time it takes to send an instant message) while traveling at 55 miles per hour, could be compared to running through an entire soccer field with your eyes closed.
Taking your eyes off the street exposes you to more danger, like slamming into something while driving, for example, a slowing vehicle or a fallen item. All things considered, as indicated by research distributed by the International Association for Traffic and Safety Sciences, it likewise restricts your capacity to keep up your path position.
It is not possible to expect to complete different things effectively at the same. Driving and using your phone is one of them and therefore extremely dangerous.
- It narrows your vision area, you look straight ahead, and you may miss a series of information (signs, sudden slowdowns, people’s presence, etc.)
- Perception of traffic changes at a much lower speed
- You take higher risks because you lose full control over the vehicle, cut your turns, bite on the line and you may deviate from the lane and hit another car
- You lose focus on the road, the environment, and the traffic conditions
Examples of Visual Distractions
In the past, 70% of accidents were caused by visual distraction like, looking at other cars or pedestrians for example. Today, technological developments may have increased the opportunities for visual distractions and instances of essential visual interruptions incorporate paying extra attention at:
- Radio controls
- Temperature controls
- Cell phones
- Convenient DVD players or TV’s
A manual interruption is something that makes a driver remove one or the two hands from the wheel. As indicated by specialists at the Virginia Institute of Transportation Technology, taking just one hand off the wheel or using your phone increases the risk of getting into an accident.
A contributor to the issue with manual interruptions is that they redirect your concentration from the road. It likewise limits your capacity to turn your guiding wheel rapidly if an object unexpectedly shows up in your way or you lose control of your vehicle.
Instances/Examples of manual interruptions.
Even though the phone is the most widely recognized example in this category, there are many other situations that may increase the risk of getting in an accident while not in charge of the vehicle. Other typical examples include:
- Applying makeup
- Interacting with passengers
- Handling radio and heat controls
- Eat or drink while driving
- Retrieving objects from between the seats
A cognitive interruption makes the driver's mind and focus wander to some different options from the concept of driving. Visual and manual interruptions can likewise be cognitive interruptions. In any case, even drivers who pay attention at the street with two hands on the wheel, can turn out to be intellectually diverted.
Strangely, the National Safety Council aggregated more than 30 exploration studies and reports from researchers worldwide that found that the "free hands" telephones are similarly as dangerous as regular telephones when driving. This is on the grounds that the intellectual interruption of focusing on a discussion adds to various driving problems.
Examples of cognitive distractions.
Purely cognitive distractions are particularly dangerous because they may not appear harmful, unlike visual and manual distractions. Common mental distractions include:
- Thinking about personal, family, or work matters.
- Listening to your best-loved podcast or radio station
- Talking to passengers
Recognizing that there are dangerous sources of distraction while driving can give us the keys to understanding how to prevent traffic accidents. It is a matter of self-awareness that almost anything we remember while driving can wait. There should not be anything so urgent that we cannot delay it for a few minutes while looking for an exit off the highway and a place to stop writing that message or reading that email.
Unsafe Driving Facts
- 7.3 Red Light violations occur every year because of distracted driving
- Drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a car accident
- 25% of accidents in United States are caused by driving distractions
- More than 50% of drivers admit to eating while driving
- Children are 12 times more distracting to a driver, than using a phone
Safe Driving Tips
- Keep a safe distance between your car and other vehicles
- Always use all three rear view mirrors (both sides and center mirror inside the car) at least three times per minute. The more you use it, the safer your driving will be
- Obey posted speed limits
- Do not drive if you are taking any medications that may cause drowsiness
- Turn lane changing signals ahead of any turns to alert other drivers of your intentions
- Do not eat or use your phone while driving
- Always drive rested. Make sure you had a good sleep before taking the wheel
- Drive defensively
Statistically, there are many more car accidents caused by distracted drivers than for any other reason. Taking full control of your vehicle will not only keep you and your family safe, but others as well. And that’s the important part, been respectful to others, it is also having respect for your self and your loved ones.
At American US Insurance, we encourage you to keep a safe driving environment and keep families safe