Resisting the urge to check an incoming text message can be more than some drivers can bear -- especially for drivers on the road for days at a time, trying to stay connected to those at home. But every time a driver takes his or her eyes from the road, the risk of a collision increases. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that taking your eyes off of the road for as little as two seconds can double your risk of a crash.
In part two of our three-part series on distracted driving behaviors, we’re exploring visual distractions. Visual distractions can include anything from texting, to looking at the radio or reading billboards. Even waving to a child in a passing vehicle can impact a driver's ability to react to an unexpected event – and we all know that you have to expect the unexpected when driving, because conditions can change in the blink of an eye. A driver might suddenly swerve into your lane, or an object might fall off of a vehicle in front of you. There's nothing more heart-stopping than suddenly averting a collision because you weren't fully focused on the task of driving.
Fortunately, distracted driving is entirely preventable. We now know that over 90 percent of all collisions are caused by human error – and human error can be coached and improved.
We’ve put together a few safety tips to help your drivers reduce visual distractions while on the road:
The Department of Motor Vehicles suggests that drivers adjust their GPS, radio settings or any other device before they begin their trip. We recommend placing cell phones on mute as long as the vehicle is in motion.
Raising Awareness About Distracting Behaviors
Driving distractions come in all shapes and sizes. It’s helpful to educate drivers about the manual, visual and cognitive distracted driving behaviors we’re highlighting in this blog series. Distracted driving isn’t just about cell phones.
Make Safety a Family Affair
No one can reinforce a safety message better than a driver’s family. Some fleet operators have found it extremely effective to involve loved ones in distracted driving initiatives.
Focus on Prevention
At Lytx, we believe that coaching unsafe driving behaviors is the key to helping prevent collisions from happening in the first place. When you combine video with coaching, you give your drivers valuable insight into their driving performance and the opportunity to improve their skills. Often, unsafe driving behaviors are a result of habits. When they see themselves driving while distracted, it’s often the catalyst that motivates them to change. If you want to see for yourself, check out these videos of distracted driving events.
Don’t miss Part 1: manual distractions.
Don’t miss Part 3: cognitive distractions.
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