When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking, yet studies reveal that only 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots who are capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that. I know I can’t!
Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with a myriad of distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right?
Statistics say nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States involve cell phones. Every day, 11 people are killed and over 900 are injured in texting-related accidents. In fact, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Just think back at your own experiences: how many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian or in a vehicle have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?
There are three types of driving distractions:
- Visual (eyes off the road)
- Manual (reaching for something or manipulating an object)
- Cognitive (mind off the task of driving)
Of course, texting or using a cell phone involves all three. Eating, applying make-up, arguing and working on-board features like the stereo and navigation system are all very real distractions. You may be interested to know that hands-free cell calls are not substantially safer than using a handheld phone. Any time you glance away from the road (like looking at a text or incoming phone call) your eyes are off task for at least 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, you will cover the length of a football field in that time. Would you ever consent to putting on a blindfold and driving down the road for that distance?
6 tips to keep your focus on the road:
- Limit phone use. If necessary, turn off.
- Silence calls and texts while car is in motion.
- Do not multi-task. Avoid eating, searching for items, glancing at your phone and anything that takes your attention from the road.
- Keep conversation light when talking to passengers.
- Properly secure children and/or pets prior to driving.
- Pull over to a safe spot to adjust controls, send a text, talk on the phone, eat and tend to children.
Another way to avoid distractions is to keep on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. We can help you with that.
Give us a call.
Eureka Brake & Automotive
Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant