Now that summer is officially here, many of us will be spending time at the cottage. Before heading out, put your cell phone out of sight and plan a pit stop to reply to any texts and emails. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes your mind or eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel. Driving is an activity that requires your full, undivided attention as one moment of distraction can lead to unintended and dangerous consequences.
Types of Distractions
Cell phones are the most common distraction for drivers. A Virginia Tech study estimates that texting while driving increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident by 2300%. Studies also show that one in four accidents involve someone using their cell phone. There are three types of distracted driving; visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking your eyes off the road while manual distraction involves talking your hands off the wheel. Cognitive distraction occurs when an individual is not focused on driving and the mind “wanders”. Common distractions include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Personal Grooming
- Applying make-up
- Active passengers including children and pets
- Using a USP
- Adjusting the radio
Before Getting Behind The Wheel
There are plenty of things you can do before you leave your driveway to minimize and avoid distracted driving all together. Some of the things include:
- Allowing plenty of travel time and checking the weather forecast before heading out the door.
- Review all maps and directions prior to driving.
- Secure loose objects and place items in the trunk that could roll around while driving.
- Prepare children with everything they need prior to driving.
- Secure pets.
- Preset climate controls and the radio.
- Pre-program routes on GPS devices.
For more information check out: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/distracted-driving.shtml