Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all. It is a major contributor to the 40,000 people who were killed on our nation’s roadways last year. However, each death is 100% preventable.
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction. Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating while driving are a few examples of distracted driving. Any of these distractions, even if done for just one second, can endanger the lives of the driver and others.
Driving is a visual task and non-driving activities that draw the driver’s eyes away from the roadway should always be avoided. As of July 1, 2010, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving. Motorists can be fined between $100-$200 for offenses.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off of what you’re doing
The following tips will help to focus on the task at hand – driving:
- Get familiar with vehicle features and equipment before pulling out into traffic
- Preset radio stations and climate control
- Secure items that might move around while car is in motion
- Do not reach down or behind the seat to pick up items
- Do not text, access the Internet, watch videos, play video games, or use any other technology while driving
- Avoid smoking, eating, drinking, and reading while driving
- Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children
- Perform personal grooming at home
- Review maps and directions before getting on the road
- Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving
- Ask a passenger to help with activities that may be distracting
- If driving long distances – schedule regular stops for every 100 miles or two hours
- Travel at times when you are normally awake, and stay overnight rather than driving through the night
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy
At Olivier-VanDyk Insurance, we encourage you to Just Drive!