April is distracted driving awareness month, and we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the dangers of distracted driving, and the importance of safety on the roads! Ending distracted driving is the responsibility of each individual driver. Thousands have died in crashes involving distracted drivers, and we want to do our part! Below we are sharing are some myths debunked by the National Safety Council, about distracted driving*. We hope this article will inspire change in those that read it.
Myth #1: Drivers can multitask.
The reality is that the human brain cannot do two things at the same time. This applies to driving and talking on your phone. Instead of “multitasking” , your brain switches back and forth between the two tasks which slows your reaction times down.
Myth #2: Talking on your cellphone is the same as talking to a passenger in the car.
The truth is that adult passengers can help the driver by having another set of eyes or a “backseat driver” to look out for danger or traffic problems. When you are talking to a person on the phone, they can’t see what’s happening on the roads.
Myth #3: Speaking hands-free is safe to use while driving.
When a driver is talking on the phone (whether hands-free or not) they can miss seeing up to 50% of the environment around them. This includes surroundings like red lights, pedestrians, road hazards, animals, etc.
Myth #4: If I only use my phone at stop lights, it’s okay.
The reality of this myth is that even if you send a voice message at a stoplight, your brain can be distracted for up to 27 seconds after you send a voice text. This comes from a recent study conducted by AAA.
Myth #5: Voice-texting is safe to do while driving.
The truth is voice-texting is still very distracting to the driver. When you use voice-to-text, you are mentally distracted, but you are also visually distracted while correcting autocorrect errors in your message.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic that has killed thousands. It is up to each of us to stop distracted driving and to keep our roads safe. To learn more about the risks of distracted driving, click here to visit the National Safety Council’s website. They have research and statistics related to different kinds of distracted driving involving teen drivers, drowsy driving, impaired driving, and much more.
*The statistics mentioned above were collected from studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, The National Safety Council, and The University of Utah.