12 Days Of Holiday Safety: Distracted Driving

The holiday season is in full swing, which means the roads are packed with people speeding to their next holiday party or racing to get that last-minute gift. The rush of the season can only mean one thing: distracted drivers are all over the roads.

We all know how dangerous it is to talk or text while driving. However, despite the known dangers associated, if you glance at the drivers next to you while cruising down the highway, it’s easy to see that not everyone takes the risks of distracted driving seriously. Makeup application, facebook status updates and quick text replies to loved ones can quickly turn deadly.

In an effort to keep our roads as safe as possible, during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, here are 5 reasons to put that phone down, put your mascara on before sliding behind the wheel and update that Facebook status later.

1. Your Brain Activity Actually Decreases

In a 2008 study, Carnegie Mellon University reported seeing an actual decrease in brain activation in drivers who were listening to someone speak. This data confirms that even with hands-free devices, talking on the phone while driving can be a distraction, making it more difficult for drivers to react quickly. In fact, according to the University’s study, “brain power decreases by as much as 40% when listening to a conversation or music.”

2. Your Teen May Be Following Your Lead

We all know our children are watching our every move. But setting a good example can be powerful for teen drivers. According to the US Government website for Distracted Driving, teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to endure a fatal accident caused by distraction.

In a frightening statistic, the NHTSA actually notes that distracted driving is the #1 killer of teens in the U.S. Talk to your teen about the real dangers of even the shortest quickest text.

3. Mobile Device Use Reduces Your Reaction Time

A study completed by the University of Utah showed that cell phone use, even with hands-free devices, resulted in impaired reactions that are comparable to driving with a blood alcohol limit of .08 percent.

4. Even the Shortest Amount of Time With Your Eyes Off the Road Can Be Deadly

According to the NHTSA, the average texting-driver only takes their eyes off the road for five seconds. But in those five seconds, at speeds of 55 mph, your eyes are off the road for the length of a football field. Traffic can quickly change in those few seconds, making it difficult to react.

5. Plain and Simple: We All Know Better!

An NHTSA survey of teens (ages 16-19) 86% admitted to driving distracted. Of the teens surveyed, 84% admitted to realizing the dangers involved with inattention. Distracted driving encompasses more than just taking your eyes off the road. Instead, there are three types of distraction that plague drivers: visual distraction, manual distraction, and cognitive distraction. In some circumstances, taking your mind off the task of driving can be just as deadly as taking your eyes off the road.

What’s the Solution for Christmas Distracted Driving?

It can always be tempting to reply to the small dings, buzzes, and rings coming from your console, pocket or purse. But one of the best ways to avoid that temptation while driving is to turn your phone or mobile device on silent or off so that you are not persuaded to reply. And to be honest, we could all deal with a few minutes sans technology.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

The team of highly-skilled personal injury attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm have been representing injured victims in Texas and across the nation for over 40 years. If the unfortunate does occur, and you or someone you love are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our team can help.

Contact any one of our 12 locations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive a free, no-obligation consultation. We care. We can help.


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