Driver Distraction

This material was filed under
[ Police Department Newsletter Articles ]
Driver Distraction

Driver inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes, responsible for about 80 percent of all collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cell phones are the #1 driver distraction, contributing to hundreds of thousands of crashes and thousands of deaths each year. This affects real people, real lives.  The prime cause of distracted driving is talking on cell phones.  Talking on cell phones distracts our minds from driving. Beyond where our eyes and hands are while driving, it’s the conversation that distracts. This is called cognitive distraction, and occurs when drivers become so engaged in their telephone conversation, they loose focus on the task at hand: Safe Driving.

Other examples of distraction include texting while driving (popular with teens and young adults), eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using navigation systems or changing the radio station, CD or MP3 player.  Less obvious forms of distractions include daydreaming or dealing with strong emotions from a recent argument or personal event.

Distracted driving is a serious, life-threatening practice.  Please be mindful of this when operating your vehicle on the roadways.  If a telephone call is so important that you must take it while driving, pull safely off the roadway and come to a stop before answering the phone.  If you have just been in an argument or had something happen to you that causes your mind to focus a great deal on that event, please take a few minutes to calm down and collect your thoughts, or have a friend drive you to your destination.

The next time you are stopped at an intersection or out for a walk, take a second to look at the vehicles that are around you.  You would be amazed at how many drivers are engaged in activities that may distract them from fully concentrating on the safe operation of their vehicle.

Please drive safely and defensively and limit the number of distractions in your vehicle as you drive on the roadways.

Detective Michael Connor