October is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Article Reprinted from Daily Safety Focus courtesy of the Mobile Chapter of ASSP.
To view all daily safety talks for October, click link below:
Daily Safety Focus for Oct 2020 (1)

Distracted driving can be deadly. Below is a list of common distracted driving issues, with
recommendations for how to address them:
Issue: Drivers do not take distraction seriously enough
Recommendation: Know the numbers. More than 2,800 people in the U.S. died in distraction related crashes in 2018 alone – that’s at least 7 people every day. That same year, 276,000 people were injured in distraction-related crashes. Drivers should be aware of three major types of distraction: visual (eyes), manual (hands) and cognitive (mind). Most people recognize when they are visually and/or manually distracted and seek to disengage from those activities as quickly as possible. People typically do not realize when they are cognitively distracted, such as when using a cell phone. When your eyes, hands and mind are not focused on driving, you increase the chance that you will make mistakes that can result in injuries or even death. Show your concern for safety.


Photo courtesy of Morris King and Millie_USA_Therapy_Dog  (Mobile Section AGC’s Safety Dog) 

Issue: Hands-free is not risk-free
Recommendation: Hands-free devices and voice command systems create a cognitive distraction as the driver
mentally engages with interactive tasks. While hands-free options may be marginally safer than handheld devices,
eliminating driver use of all types of cell phones and in-vehicle infotainment systems is safest.

Issue: Drivers think cell phone use is distracting … for other people
Recommendation: Although 87% of people think talking on a cell phone while driving is a serious safety threat,
49% have talked on a handheld phone while driving. Drivers should talk the talk AND walk the walk, refraining from
using their phone when behind the wheel.

Issue: It is impossible to multitask and give equal attention to each task.
Recommendation: People often think they are effectively accomplishing two tasks at the same time. It is possible
to complete a phone conversation while driving and arrive at the destination without incident, but it is a misconception
that the tasks can be done simultaneously and as safely as possible. Motorists should make driving the primary focus
and perform other cognitively demanding tasks only when safely parked.

 Speak up if you feel the driver is distracted or is doing something dangerous
 Say NO to any behavior that draws your driver’s attention away from the road
 Prevent distraction for the driver. Operate the radio, GPS and ventilation. Watch for signs, landmarks and traffic
 Get Home safely and allow everyone else on the road to do the same!!
(Understanding Driver Distraction, 2020)


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