Did you know that a driver makes 200 or more decisions for each mile traveled? This information was reported by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That is a lot of decisions to be made, and quick CORRECT responses require the driver to be paying attention at all times. Research shows that distracted driving is responsible for 80% of wrecks and 65% of near-wrecks. The most common distractions include:
• Talking on a cell phone
• Reaching for something inside the car while driving
• Makeup application
• Focusing attention on an outside object as you pass by
• Reading in the vehicle
Texting while driving is blamed for 1,600,000 car accidents a year. Perception is that adults are more likely to text while behind the wheel than teenagers, but regardless of who is texting and driving, this behavior is dangerous and potentially deadly. A study revealed that texting while driving a vehicle is more dangerous than driving drunk, SIX times more dangerous.
In an effort to cut down on distracted driving, some states require that you use a Bluetooth device or speakerphone. Hands-free devices help in the effort, but it cannot prevent cognitive distractions. A driver needs to be paying attention, visually and mentally, at all times.