This month’s safety topic is Distracted Driving, and it’s quite appropriate, as April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In preparation for April, we’ll be discussing driving safety here at George Nice & Sons, and we welcome you to participate! Today we are going to talk in general about distracted driving, and some misconceptions about multitasking and cell phone usage.
Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but when you are the one distracted, you often don’t realize that driver is you.
New technology in vehicles is causing us to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before. Fifty-three percent of drivers believe if manufacturers put “infotainment” dashboards and hands-free technology in vehicles, they must be safe. And, with some state laws focusing on handheld bans, many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device. But in fact, these technologies distract our brains even long after you’ve used them.
Make no mistake: This multitasking technology is about convenience, not safety.
THE GREAT MULTITASKING LIE
Myth #1: Drivers can multitask
The human brain cannot do two things at the same time – like watch TV and hold a phone conversation. The same is true when driving and talking on your phone. The brain switches between the two tasks which slows reaction time.
Myth #2: Talking on a cell phone is just like speaking to a passenger
Backseat drivers are good for you. Adult passengers help the driver and alert drivers to traffic problems. People on the other end of phones can’t see what’s going on!
Myth #3: Speaking hands-free is safe to use while driving
Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments, including pedestrians and red lights.
Myth #4: I only use my phone at stop lights so it’s okay
Even at stop lights, it is important to remain an attentive driver. For example, a recent AAA study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they finish sending a voice text.
Myth #5: Voice-to-text is safe to do while driving
It is actually still very distracting. You’re not only mentally distracted, but you’re visually distracted due to the common autocorrect errors.