Newspapers, TV channels, and social media sites are flooded with road accident news. We remain worried for the whole day for our loved ones who have gone outside for work, school, college and other purposes.
Most Surveyors have voted the driver’s distraction as the most important cause of such catastrophes. Many drivers have been seen using mobile phones while driving. There are also instances of drivers causing accidents while watching people on the roadside or billboards while driving.
Many drivers have met crashes because of eating or smoking during the drive. Turning on the radio and changing channels without focusing on the traffic is another strong reason.
Main types of distraction
Survey results suggest that the proportions of distracted driving due to the usage of mobile phones have risen from 1% to around 10% over the past five years. We have distributed the distraction into three types:
• Manual distraction like taking the hands off the wheels for other work
• Visual disturbance like not looking at the road and traffic for personal work
• Cognitive distraction like not concentrating on the driving
We have blamed specific activities for being mainly responsible for complete intrusion.
Primarily, anything that interrupts us from being attentive to our driving task can be referred as the distraction. Eating while driving, texting during steering, talking over a cell, sleeping, drinking, medicinal sedation, seeing something or someone else other than the road can endanger lives.
Among these disturbances, texting has been further detailed: reading and sending typed messages. Taking off the eyes for approximately five seconds can equal to cover a soccer field if the driving speed is considered to be around 55 mph.
Who’s More at Risk?
- Drivers below the age of twenty experience the highest rate of distraction-related crashes.
- Students reporting frequent texting while driving are less likely to wear a seatbelt, more likely to ride with a driver who’s been drinking, more likely to drink while driving.
What’s being done?
- Many states have already enacted laws – like banning texting while driving – to help raise consciousness about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Some local governments have also banned the use of cell phones and texting during driving.
Let us take a brief stroll on the present situation of the US:
Auto insurer Everquote has done a thorough study of the distracted driving-related accidents, as per the organization. Presently, the perception of the disturbed driving has become a scourge in the US. The fatalities resulted from the traffic contretemps increased from 7.2% to around 35,092 which is the highest in the last fifty years. Distracted driving counts roughly 10% of deaths as declared by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There is an increase of crashes from 3,197 (8.8%) approximately to around 3,197.
The company has done a new survey among 2,300 drivers. The stress fell on cognitive dissonance. The firm has merged the survey results with the data collected from around 35,000 drivers by the utilization of the Everdrive app on the smartphones and gave us a precise worrying interpretation.
Most of the respondents (96%) answered that they are safe drivers, but around 56% of the same group of people use mobile phones during driving.
As per the Everdrive app data, we got that around 96% of the total drivers have used their mobile phones in 30 days with an average of one call per tour. With the detailed calculation, it is revealed that each driver used his/her phone for around 0.4 miles of every 11 miles.
Another epidemic concern of the traffic fatalities is the excessive speed of the wheels. NHTSA stated that overspeeding has dominantly increased from 9,283 (3%) to around 9,557 in a year.
Moreover, as per National safety council, the new technology in the automobiles made us more distracted than before. Around 53% of the total drivers are convinced that if the vehicle makers put hands-free technology and infotainment dashboards in the motor vehicles, safety will automatically be ensured. The state laws are concentrating on the handheld bans. But, the multitasking technology is for the people’s convenience, whereas, safety depends on the liability of the vehicle occupants.
AAA Foundation has discovered that the latency of distraction lasts approximately 27 seconds which indicates that the drivers aren’t entirely engrossed with driving even after the use of phone or navigation system. The Federal has given an estimation of around 16% distraction cases among all the fatal collisions that takes about 5,000 lives each year.
Therefore, we have to take the responsibility to end distracted driving. We need to get fully educated and spread awareness via campaigning. Thus, we can improve the understanding of how the physical and mental distractions led to catastrophes. Without wasting time, we can start the education journey in home, workplace, and community by sharing the message of distracted driving.