Drive Safely Work Week
Oct 2-6, 2017
Distracted Driving week takes place this year October 2 through Oct 6, 2017 though our desire is that you will take this information and observe “drive safely” year round.
Whether you consider yourself a good or possibly even a great driver, there is a big difference between what we should do behind the wheel of a moving vehicle and what we actually do. Many of the people killed in moving vehicle crashes last year were employees of a company. More important than being an employee they were someone’s mom, dad, daughter, son, grandparent, aunt, uncle best friends and co-workers. In other words they were people just like you and me.
It is our desire that after reading this blog that you will become inspired to make a decision to drive more safely while on the road in a company vehicle or your own personal vehicle.
Driving safely depends on being alert and reacting quickly to what is happening on the road. Driving distracted greatly reduces your ability to react in the way that you should.
Statistics show that in 2015, 3,477 people died in vehicle crashes that involved distracted drivers and 14% of those crashes were reported to have involved a person using a cell phone that caused the distraction. Since most people will not report that they were using a cell phone if involved in a crash, these numbers are thought to be underreported and most likely much higher.
There are other risks levels besides cell phones that can distract a driver.
Risk Level 1- listening to the radio is a minimal cognitive distraction
Risk Level 2- Talking on hand held or hands free phone is a moderate to significant cognitive distraction
Risk Level 3- Using a Speech to Text Application is a high level cognitive distraction
The BEST PLAN is to silence and stow all cell phone devices before you start your vehicle. By stowing them you can focus on driving safely.
7 ACTION STEPS AGAINST DISTRACTION
- 1.Avoid temptation to talk or text on your phone. Turn it off while driving or place your
device in the glove box or center console so it’s out of sight and out of mind.
- 2.Vary your route when possible, so routine trips like commuting to and from work don’t
- 3.Keep your eyes moving. Make a full mirror sweep with your eyes every 5-6 seconds to
stay alert and ward off allowing your mind to wander.
- 4.Keep a safe following distance. Driver training experts suggest a following distance of 3-4
seconds in good weather—more in inclement weather. The 3-4-second following rule
increases visibility and gives more time to react to what’s happening in front of you,
reducing risk to you and your passengers.
- 5.Clear your mind. You cannot focus on driving if your mind is on work or family pressure or
your to-do list. Take a moment before you drive to get your mind focused on the task at
hand—getting to your destination safely.
- 6.Have a plan. Don’t wait until you are driving to plan and become familiar with your route.
Use navigation devices with voice directions and set them prior to pulling out.
- 7.Help others help themselves. Make it a practice when you call someone’s cell phone to
ask if they are driving. If the answer is “yes,” take it upon yourself to call back later or ask
them to return your call when they’ve reached their destination. And never text someone
you know to be driving.
Research shows that while you reach for your phone, look up a contact and dial a number your crash risk triples (yes you read that correctly, your crash risk TRIPLES.. wow) let that statistic sink in and reconsider if that quick phone call is really worth that higher risk of crashing vs waiting until you are pulled over and safely parked to place a phone call or send a text.
Multi-tasking skills are not something that needs to be accomplished behind the wheel of a vehicle. By switching our attention from one task to another one quickly such as eating, talking on the phone or fixing your hair prevents you from totally focusing on the road and the most important task at hand- driving safely. When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you must coordinate the actions of your hands, feet, eyes, ears and body movements you must decide how to react to the environment around you and what you see, hear and feel. These reactions and decisions are typically made fast and must be converted quickly into actions such as braking, steering, accelerating or possibly a combination of all to maintain your position in traffic.
While many of us feel that we can successfully multi-task while driving, the facts prove that this is simply not true.
We offer several different safe driving banners to hang throughout your facility to serve as a daily reminder the importance of driving safely. You can also find NO DIALING No TEXTING WHILE DRIVING LABELS that you can place in company vehicles or personal vehicles to serve as a reminder each time the driver enters the car that there is no dialing or texting is allowed while driving the vehicle. Simple reminders like these serve as a reminder that will become habit quickly and will help to prevent distracted driving accidents.