When most people first learn to drive, they tend to be extremely cautious, scanning the road continuously and never letting go of the wheel. More experienced drivers are usually less nervous, having developed a better understanding of road conditions and driving technique. Whether you just got your license or have spent years on the road, distraction continues to present a large risk. There are three main categories of distraction. Being aware of them can help you develop strategies that reduce the likelihood of a distraction leading to an accident.
It is estimated that distractions cause upwards of 400,000 car accidents every year because of a driver who is distracted. In many of these cases, injuries and fatalities result, and in all of these cases, the collision was likely avoidable. This is why it is of the utmost importance that drivers identify and eliminate any distractions that may compromise their ability to drive safely. There are three major categories of distraction-visual, manual and cognitive-and these four tips will help you avoid falling prey to all of them.
Everyone has heard about distracted driving. An Erie Insurance survey found that one-third of drivers admit to texting while driving and three-quarters have witnessed it, and other studies show similar or even higher numbers. Other forms of distracted driving include talking on the phone, eating, combing hair, talking to passengers, and almost everything else you can (and can't) imagine.
Many Louisiana drivers know that using a cell phone or other device while driving can be very dangerous. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that drivers take their eyes off the road for no more than two seconds. However, it was noted that a vehicle that was traveling at highway speeds could travel approximately 200 feet in the time it takes for a driver to glance at their phone for two seconds.
On April 13, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission issued a public statement about distracted driving to remind everyone that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During the month of April, highway safety officials in Louisiana make a concerted effort to cut down on distracted driving accidents by warning drivers about the risks of using a cell phone while they are behind the wheel.
Many people in Louisiana immediately think of texting while driving when they think about distracted driving, but it can be anything that takes someone's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off of driving. Thinks like eating, putting on makeup or changing the radio station while behind the wheel can all be considered distracted driving. However, the reason that so many people associate texting with distracted driving is because texting includes all three types of distractions.
Everyone has seen someone doing it or done it themselves at one point or another. You get that notification on your phone while driving and glance over at it to see what it was. Or even worse, you pick it up and answer the text or email, all the while casting quick glances at the road to make sure you’re still in your lane.