Guest Post by: CJ Jessen
Distracted driving is when a driver engages in a non-driving activity that distracts them from their task of driving. Distracted driving increases the risk of accidents. There are different types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distraction is when you take your eyes off the road for something else, manual is when you take your hands off of the wheel of the car for something else and cognitive is when you remove your mind from driving. Some of these activities include eating and/or drinking, changing the radio station, texting or talking on a cell phone, talking to other passengers and many other activities.
Hopefully, you realize that the life of your passengers and others who share the road are more important than what radio station is playing or touching up your lipstick. The facts have proven that all it takes is one split second for a disaster to happen. Any accident has the potential to end tragically. Below are some different ways you can show your support against distracted driving – and potentially save lives.
When you get in the car to drive, turn off your phone, and put it somewhere out of sight. Most people can’t resist answering the phone if it rings. Take all that temptation away by turning your phone off and putting it somewhere it can’t be seen before you ever crank the car. If your phone’s off, you won’t be tempted to make or take any calls. If you’re a passenger in the vehicle, turn your phone off to show the driver that you want to practice safe driving as well. If you have an emergency and you need to make a call, pull over to a safe place and make the phone call. If you have a passenger with you, ask the passenger to make the call. Always explain to others why you’re doing so – explain to loved ones why you feel so strongly about these decisions, and articulate that you’re doing so for their safety.
The most dangerous task to attempt while driving is sending a text message, emailing someone or surfing the web. In most states, it’s actually illegal to do any of these while driving. There is nothing that you need to know that can’t wait until you arrive at your destination. If you’re looking for directions or lost, pull over to a safe place, use the web to locate your destination and turn the phone back off before driving again.
Know Your Destination
If you’re going somewhere new, make sure you review your directions before you leave. Don’t attempt to read a map while driving, and never try to program your navigation system while driving. Have a passenger read the map, or pull over and review the map yourself before you go back to driving. If you’re a passenger in a car, encourage your driver to
Secure the Kids
If you’re going somewhere with children or pets, have them properly restrained in the vehicle before you get going. Pets should be in a secured area, so that they don’t distract you while driving, and kids need to be in their safety seats or restraint system to keep distractions limited. Encourage your friends and family to do so anytime you know they have little passengers with them.
Distracted driving can be deadly. Never take your eyes off of the road and make sure distractions are eliminated before you drive – whenever possible, do your part to encourage others others to follow suit!