Distracted Driving on the Rise

Post date: Mar 26, 2013 3:41:16 PM

Sending an email, writing a grocery list, texting or talking on mobile phones, picking up a dropped item, or practically doing anything while on the wheels lead to negligent driving. These activities take the driver’s focus away from the roadway, which eventually leads to distracted driving accidents.

Distracted driving is known as the number one killer among teenagers, according to the study conducted by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, State Farm Insurance Study and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Other related studies show that more than 1 million people have died due to car accidents over the past 25 years, and in 2010 alone, more than 30,000 were claimed by road crashes. These figures are very alarming especially to our Law Enforcement Officers, who are responsible for actively targeting these negligent drivers to lessen car crash incidence.

The US Department of Transportation has been conducting a yearly summit to strengthen the efforts of law enforcement officers in banning texting and cellphone use while driving. But above this, drivers themselves must be responsible and extra cautious with their actions while they are on the wheels.

Here are some reminders for our motorists:

    • Turn off electronic devices. Studies have shown that electronic devices are the number one cause of distraction to drivers. Turning it off before driving is highly advised as not to be tempted to use it. Stop or drop by a safe place if you really need to talk on the phone or read a text message
    • Plan your route. It is wise to first read and be familiar with your road map before going to your destination. Checking the traffic conditions also helps you avoid busy streets, thus reducing stress.
    • Give attention to your kids or pets beforehand. Kids can be a distraction in driving. It is better to prepare them for the trip by giving them entertainment that could catch their attention. That way, you can avoid being distracted by them while you are in the middle of the street.
    • Remember that your car isn’t your dressing room. Dress well and comfortably before sitting in the driver’s seat. Putting on makeup, contact lenses, or fixing yourself while manning the car can take away your attention.
    • Say “No” to multi- tasking. Multi- tasking is good but definitely not while driving. This is the most important reminder that drivers must observe. When driving, your brain must be 100% focused on the road and your driving behavior must be activated.

Remember that distracted driving does not only put yourself in danger but also the other people on the road. Practicing responsible driving behavior is a must if we want to help reduce accidents and deaths due to negligent driving.