The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

In America, distracted driving is a very dangerous driving habit that continues to prevail. Although there have been various studies done on teenage drivers specifically, these days, destructive driving habits affect drivers of all ages on the roads – and it’s getting riskier. According to the NHSTA, during daylight hours, around 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. Whether it be changing music, texting, navigating, browsing the internet – inattentiveness while behind the wheel is only increasing.

According to Driving Knowledge, here are some updated statistics on Distracted Driving:

As American consumers, the newest technology is only becoming more appealing to purchase. However, as American drivers, using smart phones from behind the wheel puts everyone on the road at risk. Although there have been various attempts to help stop distracted driving from happening, (such as; enforced driving laws against texting and driving, car models with movement sensors to alert drivers, and navigation apps that sense movement and send alerts to users to cease); we’re still actively partaking in it.

So, Why Do We Do It?

The truth of the matter is, our phones are our go-to addiction. According to Dr. Greenfield, who is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry for the University of Connecticut School of Medicine supports the notion that our brains naturally respond to the pings that come from our phones. Even though we are aware of the dangers that taking our eyes off the road for five seconds could cause, we still continue to engage in the gamble of it all because we feel compelled to respond to the incoming pings on our phones. This compulsion then lessens the grasp on our judgement, and in that moment is when we risk it all to check our phones.

The longer we continue to engage in this habit further reinforces the illusion of being good at multitasking while driving. According to Drivers Alert, studies have shown that drivers know texting and driving is dangerous, but choose to do it anyway. Because our phones have an addictive part that play with our mind, it’s crucial as a driver to exert self-control to help disengage from this behavior.

How to Stop Distracted Driving:

Unfortunately, there isn’t a resolution to this epidemic as people will continue to text and drive so long as there are cell phones. Therefore, the best way to help reduce the amount of time that you’re driving while distracted is to include some safer habits into your driving routine:

  • Make Your Phone Silent. By putting your phone and the alerts that will come from it on silent while you’re driving, it will help you to not be triggered by the incoming notifications.
  • Know Where Your Going. Before you drive anywhere where you might need directions, set your navigation apps or car systems to where you’re headed before you begin driving.
  • Choose Your Playlist. Instead of constantly fiddling with the songs that are playing, pick a playlist that you are good with prior to driving. This way, you won’t be changing your music and therefore, being distracted.
  • Hide Notifications. If you can’t surrender to leaving your phone on silent, another alternative would be to hide your notifications within the settings of your phone before you get on the road. This will help you abstain from glancing down at your phone while driving.

This epidemic is bigger than all of us, and it’s imperative we practice better driving behaviors while on the road. Safer drivers lead to safer roads, and fewer collisions. Help yourself stay safe on the road with a quote from SafeAuto. Get a free quote today.