According to the AAA Foundation for Safety, we spend one hour and 15 minutes in our motor vehicles every day.
The problem is, however, that we often treat that time as time to do more than one task at a time – leading to a major distraction problem.
There is no question that today’s motor vehicles provide us with many opportunities to be distracted with the proliferation of mobile devices, dashboard technologies and other tools that provide easy access to information, entertainment, and communications. In-vehicle distractions are increasing as well as the temptation to give in to them.
Data show that drivers spend more than half their time behind the wheel engaged in potentially distracting behaviors.
It’s an automatic – when you are driving, you are multi-tasking.
At a minimum, you are operating a piece of heavy equipment (average 2,000 to 3,000 pounds) at high speed; navigating across changing terrain; calculating speeds and distances; and responding to all the other drivers and obstacles around you.
Putting one more activity in the mix, like talking to passengers or adjusting the radio, can be enough to make you lose control or prevent you from responding to any quick action you need to do.
Driver inattention is a factor in more than one million crashes in North America every year resulting in serious injuries, deaths, and an economic impact that some experts say reaches nearly $40 billion every year.
And, it’s not just the new-fangled electronics that distract us. Researchers say that drivers today are being distracted by many of the same things that distracted drivers one hundred years ago (do the math), talking to passengers, activity outside the vehicle like beautiful scenery or objects by the roadside, and activity inside the vehicle like loud passengers, dropped articles or our own daydreaming.
Time to wake up!!!! And drive right!!!!