It’s an old story: you’re driving home on the route you take every day. It’s late in the afternoon and there’s not much traffic. It feels like you can relax a bit, so when you hear the sound of a new text on your phone, you glance down to see what it says. There’s no one else on the road, so there’s no real harm… except that’s the exact time an animal darts in front of you, you swerve to avoid it, and there’s a crash.
I’ve talked about how phones can be deadly to drivers before. Activists working to increase distracted driving awareness are trying all kinds of techniques, like the group EndDD, which has developed programs to encourage children to remind their parents about driving without distractions, even while they’re riding in the back seat.
The National Safety Council urges caution whenever you are driving, even if it’s slowly “sharking” in a parking lot to find a space or cruising to an exit to get back on the road. They also use the phrase “inattention blindness,” or “the failure to notice a visible hazard because your attention is focused elsewhere.”
Multi-tasking, trying to do more than one thing at the same time, is often encouraged, especially if you’re trying to balance several projects at work, your family responsibilities, and the day-to-day necessities like preparing meals and paying the bills. One place multi-tasking is not an option, though, is on the road.
Though it might save time right now to try and read a text or answer a phone call while you’re driving down a mostly deserted street, it could lead to a life-changing accident. Keep the phone off and your eyes on the road, no matter when and where you are.
How can you prevent driving distractions? Let me know in the comments.
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