We all know distracted driving is dangerous. However, did you know it claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Association?
During my loss control insurance career, I have driven over one million miles through large cities, small towns, and interstates in the Midwest. Over the last 5 years, I have noticed a trend that supports the increase in deaths while driving. The more technology we have, the more distracted we have become when we are driving.
Below are the top ten behaviors I see during my travels. How many of these behaviors have you seen while you have been driving?
- Texting – Texting is the most alarming distraction I see. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
- Talking on the phone – Most companies now have rules in place that do not allow employees to talk on the phone while driving a company vehicle. It’s safe to ignore the call and return it later when you are not driving. Reaching for your cell phone can also cause you to be distracted.
- Using the Internet – I have seen drivers using laptops while driving! I’m sure many people are also using the Internet on their phones.
- Eating and drinking – It is hard to go down the highway without seeing someone chomping on a burger, fries, or snack or sipping their coffee. These are all major distractions!
- Applying makeup – I recently saw a woman looking in her rear view mirror applying eye mascara while driving.
- Combing hair – Before you enter your car, make sure all your personal grooming is finished.
- Shaving – Occasionally, I will see men shaving behind the wheel of a car.
- Headphones – How could you ever hear an emergency vehicle with headphones on? In some states, it’s illegal to drive with headphones on.
- Looking for a lost object – It might be in the front seat or maybe it is in the back seat, but either way, it takes your eyes off the road.
- Using a GPS or map – I used to see people holding up maps to see where they needed to go, but now it seems like everyone uses a GPS. Do not adjust or type on the GPS while you are driving.
This is just my top 10 list; there are many other distractions not included. What other driver distraction situations have you seen while driving? Learn more about distracted driving by visiting http://focus2thefinish.com/.