Sunday, April 19, 2015

Attention to Dangers of Distracted Driving

Here is a short piece from the Quality Health website with a few of my thoughts on distracted driving.  You know, there is a lot of publicity about cell phones or texting as a distraction, but there's much more.  Here is the article:

And here are some more of my thoughts on the subject, responding to some interview questions:

What is “distracted driving?”
Very simply, distracted driving is driving without paying full attention to driving.  Distractions can be overt, like a cell phone, or more subtle, like singing along with a song on the radio.  Every driver is susceptible to distracted driving, and it takes skill and concentration to drive safely.

What tips can you offer for staying safe on the road?
Remember what they taught you when you first learned to drive?  Keep your hands on the wheel, watch traffic, listen for the sounds of traffic – sirens or emergency vehicles, pedestrians, and the like.  Watch your mirrors, and stay alert.  Don't pay attention to the radio or music player, the person in the next or back seat, and especially not to a cell phone or tablet.  Don't put on makeup or shave, or read the newspaper balanced on the steering wheel.  Don't change clothes or see if those sunglasses look hot by staring at yourself in the rear view mirror.  DRIVE!

Who is most likely to be a distracted driver? Teens vs. adults? Male vs. females?
While young people, particularly teens, are disproportionately represented among distracted driving incidents, people of all ages are known to drive distracted.  Mothers attending to their seat belted children in the back seat, businessmen looking at Email or the newspaper, salesmen checking the map to get to a client, and just about anyone you can think of can be a distracted driver

What are some of the consequences of distracted driving?
Traveling the length of a football field while checking a text, not seeing the car stopped front while turning around to chastise the child, slamming into a child darting into the street while reaching for the high note in a song – the consequences of distracted driving are pure and simple tragedy.  Death, property damage, profound injury, all from just not paying attention.

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