As the 21st century slowly winds up its second decade, you can’t help but notice the bulging statistics of road accidents in New York. Distracted driving is quickly emerging as a major cause of road accidents in New York. So what is distracted driving?
According to the Official US Government Website for distracted driving; distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a driver’s attention from the primary engagement of driving endangering the driver, passengers and bystanders. According to National Highway Transport and Safety Authority (NHTSA) survey, 3,300 people were killed by distracted driving in 2011, and an additional 387,000 were injured.
Main Driver Distractions
Cars’ Voice-Activated Systems and answering calls while driving has emerged as the main driver distractions while you drive. The car voice activated systems allow you to interact with your car and your phone by issuing voice commands instead of manually pushing phone or dashboard buttons. With many car manufacturers adopting the technology the risk couldn’t be greater; more and more New York drivers are left vulnerable to fatal accidents by these systems.
University of Utah researchers found that you are likely to be distracted off the road for as long as 27 seconds after the use of a complex car’s voice-activated system. For lesser complex models, the distraction is 15 seconds. It only takes a 2 seconds look away from the road to cause fatal accident; hence you can imagine the impact of these systems on modern vehicles. The distraction time is measured on the basis of time taken by the driver to refocus on the road after using the voice activated system. Scholars have equaled the kind of brain power required to operate the system while driving to balancing a checkbook while driving.
Safety advocates argue that drivers are being misguided by facts being advanced that car voice activated systems are safe. The effects of car voice activated systems are more pronounced if you are aged above 50 years.
Other driver distractions include;
- Adjusting your car radio
- Using the navigation system on your car
- Watching a video
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
Distracted Free Driving Tips
Distracted free driving means keeping your eyes on the road and not engaging in secondary tasks that compromise your concentration. There are several tips to mitigate distractions while driving. These tips include,
- Do not make calls while driving whether manually or with activated car systems; this might sound basic, but it is the most common distraction. To reduce the temptation of answering calls put your phone on silent mode or set an automated text or voicemail to automatically respond to unanswered calls.
- Beverages and food can wait; avoid eating while driving. Food and beverages cause a great deal of distraction to drivers that lead to fatal accidents.
- Designate a passenger to read the navigator for you if you are using it; this ensures that you are fully focused on the road as the navigator is a form of distraction. If you are driving alone, try and map out your destinations before you start driving.
- Pre-set your favorite radio station or playlist before you drive; this ensures that you minimize the tendency of tuning your radio that is a major distraction.
- If you have a family, teach your children about the importance of being non-distractive in vehicles.
Make Voice Activated Driving Work For You
We can never underestimate the menace distracted driving is causing in New York City today. Technological advancements such as the car voice activated systems meant to reduce distractions on the road are proving to be dangerous distractions. However, on the flip side distracted-free driving can be controlled by individual driving discipline. Take the initiative today, say yes to distracted-free driving and arrive safely.