When we’re driving, distractions are a constant temptation. Other passengers in the car, billboard signs flashing the latest ads, and vehicle features making our journey more comfortable are just a few examples of distractions that can take our attention off the road.
We’re also busier than ever. Our days are spent trying to get more accomplished in less time. It’s estimated that people spend an average of one hour and 15 minutes in their vehicles every day. This means that longer commutes, an increase in heavy traffic, and demanding home and work schedules make in-vehicle technologies more alluring because they let us multi-task and get more done. It also means that other activities like talking with family and friends or eating dinner may take place while driving. These distractions, often deadly, stop us from giving our full attention to the most important thing we are doing while going from Point A to Point B – getting there!
It’s all in your head… and hands… and eyes…
While driving, your mind, hands, and eyes are all working together to get to your destination. Your mind decides where you’re going, your hands navigate the steering wheel, and your eyes ensure your car and pathway are safe. When any one of these is busy with other diversions, the risk of crashing increases.
Teens are especially at risk
Ask any teenager what tops their list of things that matter most and many will claim it’s their friends. Staying “in the know” within their social network and being accepted ranks high among teenagers. But too often this desire to be with friends leads to dangerous habits when driving.
Nearly nine in 10 teenage drivers admit they have engaged in distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on a cell phone. But research also tells us that teens already know it’s dangerous. It’s important for teens to start listening to what they know is right and to stay fully focused on driving!
Can I just talk hands-free?
Many people think talking on a hands-free cell phone while driving is safer than having that same conversation on a handheld device. Even if you drive with both hands on the wheel while talking on the phone, you’re still putting yourself and others in danger. When you talk on the phone, your mind is engaged in that conversation. It’s estimated that using a cell phone while driving (whether handheld or hands-free) raises the chance of crashing by four times.