You’ve bought the hands-free receiver and stopped checking texts while on the road – so you are distraction free, right? Maybe not.
According to a poll conducted by Leger Marketing, distracted driving is one of the greatest unreported safety problems in Canada today. Even though cell phone use has been restricted to hands-free use in most of Canada, many collisions are still caused by distracted drivers. In fact, most drivers on Canadian roads (75%) are still engaging in activity that impairs their driving abilities.
There are three main types of driver distractions. Physical distractions include anything that causes you to take your hands off the wheel, or foot off the brake, or eyes off the road such as eating a sandwich. Cognitive distractions are activities that take your mind away from the road. Examples include having a conversation with a passenger, talking on the hands-free phone, or even daydreaming. Combination activities take your hands, eyes and mind away from the road. These double-duty threats include reading a map or programming the radio.
So what is taking YOUR attention away from the road? The most common diversions include:
- Talking on a phone (even hands free!)
- Texting while driving
- Changing a CD or adjusting the radio
- Eating or drinking
- Using an electronic device, such as a GPS
- Applying makeup
- Being pre-occupied with other passengers
Do any of these “driving don’ts” happen in your vehicle? Regardless of the diversion, if you take your eyes off of the road for just five seconds while driving at 90km/h it’s like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded! A lot can happen in just a moment or two.
There are many ways to decrease your distractions while driving. Here are a few:
- Ensure you aren’t temped to take a call by turning off your cell phone before you start the car. At the very least, turn on your hands-free receiver before driving.
- Budget extra time to travel to your destination, especially if it is an unfamiliar route. Consult the map and plan your route before you leave.
- If you do listen to music, make sure the volume is low enough that you can easily hear the sounds of emergency vehicles that may be trying to get around you.
- Familiarize yourself with the tools on your dashboard before starting out on your trip. This will minimize the time it will take for you to adjust the temperature gauge, radio, lights, etc.
- If you have friends in the car, ask them to keep conversation light and to a minimum. Remember that your first priority is to get to your location safely!
Implementing small changes in your driving routine can go a long way to protecting yourself and all the others with whom you share the road.
It is also important to stay protected with the right auto insurance for your needs. At Park Insurance, we believe in offering our customers more than just insurance policies, we offer our customers insurance expertise. We encourage you to call or visit us with your auto insurance questions, we are here to help.