Monthly Archives: September 2015

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is more than using your phone

by safedriver

Distraction resultFor more than a decade we’ve really stepped it up with social media. We can find out what’s happening within our world every second of the day. That is, if you want to. To many people, they can’t let a moment go by without knowing what’s happening. Our phones play a big part of this and we all know how risky using our phones while driving has turned into. Using our smart phones is really turning into an addiction. But our phones are only one part of distracted driving.

We’ve always been distracted at some point throughout our lives. I remember as a kid when I was reading and my mom or dad come into the room and started talking to me. I never heard them because I was so into what I was reading. How many times were you caught daydreaming while you were in school only to miss the information the teacher was sharing? It happens all the time and it won’t really stop.

Even 30 or more years ago we were distracted while driving. But instead of distracted by our phones, we were distracted by our radio, passengers, loose items in our vehicle and a crowded front seat. Remember the bench seat? Oh yeah, we also didn’t have cup holders or water bottles. If you wanted to drink something while driving, you rested it on the seat beside you. If it spilled, you were focused on that and not driving. We were always distracted, even while driving more than 30 years ago. Cell phones have just added to the list of distractions.

Since we can agree being distracted is a common element, why don’t we agree on when we can afford to be distracted? We can afford to be distracted the most when that distraction won’t affect our own safety or the safety of those around us. For example, being distracted while walking along the sidewalk or riding a bicycle can lead to injuries or mistakes. I’ve watched cyclist’s text while riding and go straight through stop signs. Did they care what they just did? Did they know what they just did? Texting while walkingacross the street can lead into trouble.

Its human nature to be curious, but it takes focus to decide if you should do something about the curiosity or if you should ignore it. The case can be found with this photo. This is the result of the driver becoming distracted with a spider in the vehicle. I know many who don’t like spiders, or bees or any other insects. I think we all know the logical thing to do is to pull over and deal with it, but what if you can’t?

Having your passenger attempt to kill it while you’re driving may be just as distracting or worse. In most cases, you’ll be able to pull over safely and within a few seconds so you can deal with your distraction. It really comes down to prioritizing. If you’re swimming you focus on not drowning. If you’re Bar-B-Qing, you focus on not burning your food. Think of the end result. Driving shouldn’t be any different.