Avoiding the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a danger to everyone on and around the roadways — from drivers, to pedestrians, to bikers. According to statistics from the CDC, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day due to crashes involving a distracted driver. Unfortunately, rates of distracted driving do not appear to be decreasing, so it’s up to everyone to make sure that you, your loved ones, and your friends stay focused when you’re behind the wheel.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Anything that diverts your attention from the road ahead and your surrounds can be considered a distraction. Specifically, there are three main types: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions are anything that take your eyes off the road, like when you reach for something in the backseat or read a text message. Manual distractions involve anytime you take your hands off the wheel, like if you are eating or grooming yourself while driving. Cognitive distractions take place when you are thinking about something else other than your surroundings, like if you were to get engrossed in a phone call while driving.

Often times, common distractions will cause more than one type of impairment. Think about what would happen if you were to respond to a text message while driving: not only are your eyes not on the road, your hands are also on your phone, not the steering wheel, and you’re thinking about your response — all three types of distraction!

What Can I Do To Stop Distracted Driving

For parents, the most important thing you can do is model good behavior. If you use your phone while you’re driving, you’re setting an example that says that type of behavior is acceptable. Make sure to have a recurring conversation with your kids about the dangers of distracted driving. Remember, phones aren’t the only distractions on the road. Changing the radio station, having too many passengers in the car, or trying to eat are all common distractions, especially for young drivers. Parents can also consider cell phone apps that can monitor or restrict their child’s phone usage when they are in the car.

If you’re worried about distracted driving for your business, consider offering trainings that educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. Business owners should also work to create and enforce safe driving policies to minimize the occurrence of distracted driving. If your drivers need to communicate while they are on the road, always advise them to first safely pull over before taking out their phones.

Here are some general tips that can help everyone be safer behind the wheel:

● Never answer a phone call, text, or email while you’re driving. Remember, hands-free phone usage can still create a cognitive distraction.
● If cell phone use is really a problem, consider putting your phone in the glove box or the back seat of your car to eliminate your ability to use it while you are driving.
● Make sure everything is secure in your car before leaving. Reaching for things rolling around under your seat or in the backseat of your car can also be a huge distraction.
● If you use a GPS, make sure to set it before you start the car.
● Always eat and do any grooming before you leave the house, or set aside time to do it when you arrive at your destination.

Looking for more information on how to make sure you’re protected and safe on the road? Doherty Insurance Agency is happy to help — get in touch today to talk more about your car insurance policy or more safe driving tips: 978-475-0260.


Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303