Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel, Mind on Driving

You’ve seen the commercials, the print ads and billboards – Distracted Driving.  Any non-driving activity you participate in while behind the wheel can be a potential distraction and significantly increases your risk of an accident.  ANYTHING that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or your mind off the basic act of driving safely puts you, your family, friends and everyone you meet on the road– at risk.

Did you know that up to 90% of all car crashes are caused by driver error and about 26% of all car crashes involve the use of a cell phone – including hands free devices.  According to the National Safety Council, studies show that using voice-to-text can be MORE distracting than typing texts by hand.  Just because a technology doesn’t take your eyes off the road does not make it safe to use while driving.  Drivers are more likely to develop “tunnel vision.”  You may still be looking ahead while driving however, the tendency to scan the roadway or check side and rearview mirrors diminishes.  Many fail to see what’s right in front of them:  stop signs, red lights and even pedestrians.

We pride ourselves on the ability to multi-task.  How many times a day do we attempt to do two or more things at once?  The old adage “walk and chew gum at the same time” is so prevalent in our society today.  While our brains can quickly switch between tasks, it cannot do two things at once.  How well can you read and comprehend a book while speaking on the phone?  You won’t be able to do either of these well if you try to do them at the same time.  Multi-tasking while driving divides our brain power and decreases the focus on the main task.  Hands-free is not risk-free.  

We know the risks and whether we think that the statistics don’t apply to us or that we can beat the odds, ultimately the choice is ours.  Life is busy, stressful – constant.  Is that phone call or text message as important as coming home each night?  Is it as significant as family dinner or tucking your children in bed?  Don’t take unnecessary risks.  Life is short.  Life is precious.  Life can change in an instant.

Please take a moment to visit www.distraction.gov or www.distracteddriving.ncs.org to learn more about Distracted Driving and what you can do to take action.