dangers of distracted driving
April 20, 2023 Safety News

Eyes on the Road: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Do you sometimes drive while talking on the phone or texting? Have you ever veered out of your lane or hit something while driving because you were distracted Here is a straightforward way to think about it: if something requires your hands, your eyes, or your attention while you are driving, it is a distraction. Distracted driving is not just risky for you, it can be deadly for every nearby driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, and worker.

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Be aware of your distracted driving behaviors, their effects on road safety, and how you can protect yourself and others.

Types of Distracted Driving

  • MANUAL distractions cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel while driving.

  • VISUAL distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road.

  • COGNITIVE distractions cause drivers to take their minds off the road.

The Dangerous Effects of  Distracted Driving

Using a cell phone involves ALL distractions at the same time: manual, visual, and cognitive. Listening to loud music, programming the GPS, tuning the radio, adjusting air temperature, eating, or drinking, and smoking or vaping are also considered types of distractions. A typical distraction takes four seconds, which significantly affects your Perception distance, your Reaction Distance, and your Braking distance. Looking at your phone can distract you even longer! If you were driving 55mph while distracted, your car would travel the length of a football field before reacting to traffic conditions.

When you are behind the wheel, your only job is to drive! According to the National Safety Council, at least eight people a day are killed in crashes related to distracted driving. Handheld and hands-free phone calls and texts, emails, social media, passengers, snacks, and even built-in vehicle touchscreens are just some of the distractions fighting for your attention on the road.

Simple Tips to Avoid Distractions while Driving

1.  Plan Ahead!
  • Turn off your cell phone and/or put it in an unreachable spot.

  • Adjust vehicle controls such as mirrors, seats, radio, or air conditioning before driving.

  • Program the GPS or read maps and check traffic conditions before driving.

2.  Pay Attention!
  • Look for other drivers who may be distracted.

  • Do not multitask while driving such as reading, writing notes, drinking a beverage, eating, or having an intense conversation.

  • Do not dial or answer a call or text while driving. Wait until you have pulled over to a safe area.

  • Do not reach down or behind the driver’s seat, pick up items from the floor, open the glove compartment, or clean the inside windows while driving.

3.  Take the Pledge to avoid distracted driving and help everyone around you get home safe!

  • I will make our roads safer for everyone by avoiding all forms of distracted driving.

  • I will speak up when others are distracted to protect myself and all other road users.

Workplace Policies and Education Make a Difference

Every seven seconds someone is injured in a car crash and every 15 minutes someone is killed in one. As an employer, it is your responsibility to help train your employees to follow safe driving habits and avoid distractions. Employers absorb costs associated with these crashes caused by distracted driving whether they occur on or off the job. Workplace policies and employee education can help protect you, your employees, your organization, and our community.

Beacon's Safety Services

Beacon Mutual is proud to provide loss prevention and ergonomic services at no additional cost to policyholders. With a large team of safety experts from various disciplines, Beacon's Loss Prevention Consultants and Ergonomic Specialists will outline the steps needed to establish an effective loss prevention program. Our goal is to help establish a realistic safety process to prevent injuries and accidents, improve employees’ attitudes toward safety, and minimize claim costs.

Learn More About Safety Services

Kurt Bodziony
Written by

Kurt Bodziony

Senior Loss Prevention & Ergonomic Consultant

Subscribe here to get the latest news directly to your inbox!