Public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving is arguably at an all-time high. From plot lines on popular television shows where main characters cause crashes or suffer injuries in them to public awareness campaigns putting up billboards around major highways, there have been many efforts to make drivers aware of the dangers of distraction.
You have committed yourself to keeping your hands off of digital devices while you drive, and you probably expect other drivers to employ a similar attitude toward their own safety. However, distracted driving could be a much serious more serious issue than you realize.
Many people think that they can safely text while driving
It is an unfortunate truth that human beings tend to overestimate their own intelligence and capabilities. Many drivers think that they can safely text and drive because they are so good at driving.
The reality is that no person can truly be safe when dividing their attention between a safety-critical task and digital distraction.
People’s safety hacks don’t really work
Some drivers try to use workaround systems to text and email at the wheel without breaking the law or endangering themselves. They might use talk-to-text software or only pick up their phone to read text messages when stopped at a red light.
However, talk-to-text software can distract people more than they realize, and the cognitive consequences of looking at a screen persist even after someone sets their phone back down.
Phones aren’t the only source of distraction
Finally, one reason that people underestimate the threat of distracted driving is that they are too narrow when defining distraction at the wheel. Although digital devices are a major safety concern, distraction can also come from passengers, built-in vehicle systems and after-work snacks enjoyed at the wheel.
You never know when the person in front of you or next to you has split their attention between driving and another task. The best way to keep yourself safe out on the roads is to assume that there will be distracted drivers near you and to make safety your top focus. Educating yourself about the most common concerns about distracted driving collisions could potentially help you avoid a crash.