To most of us, one second doesn’t seem like a very long time. Our days are full of seconds and we’re constantly on the go, so that single moment may seem insignificant. But when you are behind the steering wheel of an automobile, a single second can change everything.
All it takes to be distracted is ONE second.
When you’re operating a vehicle, it should be the only task at hand. To so many of us, driving becomes a secondary task that we perform in in an almost robotic way while concentrating on a variety of other priorities. What many people fail to realize until it’s too late is that distracted driving can occur in a single second, with potential repercussions that could forever alter the lives of ourselves and others. When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, driving should be the only task.
EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) is a resource formed by parents who lost their daughter in 2009 with the mission of preserving life and promoting safety. Unfortunately, distracted driving has become a near epidemic and many people aren’t even aware of their guilt many times until it is too late.
The obvious distraction that we often think of is texting or otherwise using a phone while driving. Statistics show that your risk of an accident quadruples when talking on a cell phone, which is approximately the same as drunk driving. If you’re texting, the risk doubles once again. And while texting and talking on a cell phone are significant mental/physical distraction risks, only 17% of distraction-related crash fatalities are credited to cellphone usage. That leaves 82% of distracted driving fatalities being caused by some other form of distraction behind the wheel. The other top forms of distraction include:
- Applying makeup
- Reaching for a drink
- Selecting music
- GPS navigation
Each of these forms of distraction includes at least one of the three main types of distraction classifications: visual, manual, or cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking your eyes away from the roadway. Manual distraction is taking your hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive distraction, which may be the most difficult to combat, involves taking your mind off the roadway.
While distractions are endless, they don’t necessarily have to be if we begin making a more conscious effort to improve our bad driving habits. For more information about distracted driving, visit www.enddd.org.