We’ve all done it. Call your friend to make plans, find the perfect radio station, take another sip of soda, or linger your gaze on that cool car in the next lane – all while driving. You may think it’s second nature, but it’s still considered distracted driving. And in looking at statistics from 2015, we are reminded yet again just how dangerous distractions while driving can be, claiming 3,477 lives and injuring more than 390,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Though many states are enacting law to prevent mobile device use while at the wheel, such as banning texting or talking on the phone while driving, there’s much you can do to bring awareness to the issue both at home and in the workplace.
But first: what is distracted driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from driving. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention; thus, any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. There are three main types of distraction that you need to be aware of:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving
Can anyone guess what the #1 type of distracted driving is out there on the roads? Yup, you probably guessed right – Texting. Sending or reading a text incorporates all three types of distraction. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cellphones while driving, which creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Employees who use a mobile device while driving are four times more likely to crash.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and others while on the road? As an employer, it’s your responsibility to train your workforce of the dangers of distracted driving. So with you in mind, we put together an informational flyer that you can give to your workers and drivers alike. Please keep in mind, however, that this is *not* to be used in place of actual distracted driving training, only as a refresher and guideline.