Friday, January 4, 2019 6:45 PM

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Did you know it takes just 3 seconds for someone to cause a car accident? You may think you’re a safe driver – you never drink and drive or take phone calls. It won’t happen to you.
Distracted driving is more common than you think – and it’s the primary cause of most car accidents.
When you drove to work this morning, how many times did you adjust the radio? Get lost in thought about the work day ahead?
Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off of the road. There are three forms of distracted driving:

  • Visual – something outside your car that catches your attention
  • Manual - eating a snack, sipping coffee or texting
  • Cognitive – listening to music or allowing your mind to wander 

Distracted driving accidents tend to be more severe.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 25% of all motor vehicle deaths are due to some form of distracted driving.
Teenage drivers are at the highest risk for deadly accidents.
In July 2007, Community Medical Center’s own Martha Tessmer lost her teenage son, Donovan, in a distracted driving accident. The police report stated it wasn’t drugs, drinking, or texting that caused the accident. Just…distracted driving.
Martha has since devoted herself to educating others; no one should ever experience the loss of a child due to distracted driving. Her message is simple--distracted driving isn’t a teen issue, it’s a driver issue.

Making the roads a safer place

Laws and hefty fines have been put into place to reduce distracted driving. An easy solution is to practice safe driving habits every time you get into a car.

Here are a few simple rules: 
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Don’t reach for items while driving
  • Avoid phone calls and texting 

Many employers have also created safe driver programs. These include no-texting pledges. We also have apps that block cell phone use while driving. And the auto industry continues to add car safety features.
The goal is to arrive safely at your destination. Be aware of distractions. And remember, safe driving begins with you. Your life depends on it.