Driver Awareness 
April, 03 2017, ,
Posted by Administrator
April is distracted driving awareness month. I am sure all of us can recall a time when they have seen another vehicle on the road way that is being operated by a distracted driver. Distractions can come in many different forms, but when distracted driving is mentioned the most frequent response is cell phone usage.
Cell phones provide many avenues for driving distractions. Incoming/outgoing calls, text messages, internet browsing, app usage are just a few things that people are able to utilize while they are driving. The driver can also be distracted by passengers because of their cell phone or electronic devices. I cannot begin to tell you how many times we have been traveling as a family and my spouse and/or kids have said you have to see this picture or look what I did on my iPad.
Technology has made an attempt to help reduce the distraction of cell phone use in the vehicle by equipping vehicles with hands-free talk and text. While the technology does remove the driver from having to physically hold the phone while driving, there is still a distraction associated with this technology. When talking, the driver is focusing on the conversation, so their mind is tied up in the conversation and not focusing on their surrounding environment that could have been avoided. Now I know I have driven without talking on the phone and been distracted just thinking about the day or prior days, however add in the call and you are adding to the problem.
The talk to text feature keeps the driver from having to type the information into their device. You would assume that this would be a good thing because you do not have to take your eyes from the road and hands off the wheel to type the message. However, consider that the device may not recognize everything that you say and corrects (much like auto-correct when you are typing) to the closest word that it recognizes. You just sent a message to someone that contains content that was not intended or makes no sense, then you hit panic mode and are scrambling to send another message to correct the error or having to call and explain your error!
While cell phones are the most frequently thought of and discussed topic of distracted driving, there are many of things that can distract a driver. Eating, drinking, navigation in an unfamiliar area, etc. are all potential things that can distract drivers. I am not trying to say that you can eliminate every distraction when you are driving, I am simply pointing out that there are a lot of distractions and working to reduce the number of distractions could help save a life of a oved one or someone else.
I have heard people say that they don’t worry about the distractions of driving or their conduct behind the wheel because they are driving in areas where they may not see another vehicle for miles. My response to them is what about your life?
Below is a link to a National Safety Council Article that looks at 2016 and the increase in fatalities on our nation’s roadway. It also discusses some of the additional reasons for the increase.
http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiative ... mates.aspx


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