Safety Source: Distracted Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "it takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text. Not a lot of time. But, in that span of time, with your eyes on your phone and not on the road, a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. In that instant, over that distance, a life can be taken—maybe even yours."
And according to the National Safety Council, "more than 700 injury crashes involve distracted driving on a typical day in the U.S. While the percentage of drivers using handheld devices has decreased in recent years, many experts feel the use of distracting devices is significantly undercounted. Fact is, drivers frequently lose focus of the road. Their eyes drift and their minds wander as they connect on cell phones or other technologies built into vehicle dashboards."
Knowing this is an issue that affects many, Deep South has pulled a few helpful resources to consider:
Three Types of Distracted Driving:
According to EndDD.org, traffic safety experts classify distractions into three main types:
- Manual: those where you move your hands from the wheel
- Visual: those where you focus your eyes away from the road
- Cognitive: when your mind wanders away from the task of driving
Note: Texting involves all three types of distraction.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving (AAA Exchange):
- Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.
- Make adjustments before you get underway. Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.
- Finish dressing and personal grooming at home – before you get on the road.
- Snack smart. If possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while driving. On the road, avoid messy foods that can be difficult to manage.
- Secure children and pets before getting underway. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
- Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving – handheld or hands-free – except in absolute emergencies. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.
- If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus safely on driving.
- If another activity demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before heading out.
- As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.
The Just Drive Pledge:
Finally, consider taking the Just Drive Pledge by the National Safety Council, a sample of which is below.
I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:
- Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
- Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
- Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, Vimeo or other social media
- Check or send emails
- Take selfies or film videos
- Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
- Call or message someone else when I know they are driving
You can complete this form and receive a pledge certificate to share and dedicate it in someone's name.
Our industry takes pride in advancing safety in all aspects of life. Deep South Crane & Rigging, LLC's marketing team has prepared this content with the intent that it be shared as potential safety topics used to start meetings industry-wide. We have used internet resources that are sourced via links throughout the article. We do not claim to be an expert on this topic.
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