In a world where everything is available to us on the go, it gets increasingly more difficult to unplug ourselves from the wonders of technology, even during our daily commute. The CDC describes three categories of distraction: visual (distracted eyes), manual (distracted hands), and cognitive (distracted mind). Distracted driving is one of the most prominent causes of accidents on our roadways. According to the statistics posted to distraction.gov, “In 2014 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.” Here are some of the most common distractions we face in our vehicles daily.
-The smartphone, while perhaps the most remarkable innovations of our time, is also the one that causes the most car accidents. With the ability to direct us, play whatever music we like, or put us in contact with whomever we choose, it can enhance your outing in the car, but also provides many different forms of distraction; the National Occupant Protection Use Survey states that at any point during the day in this country, “approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving”. Your precious smartphone, if used in the car, becomes a hat-trick of risk, potentially covering all three of the categories of distraction. It may be your new favorite appendage, but try to unplug while you drive.
-Another result of our “on-the-go” society is the new norm of frequenting drive-thrus and participating in a travelling mealtime. While convenient and enjoyable (who’s going to say no to a milkshake stop?), eating while driving is also a road hazard. It’s going to be difficult maneuver your vehicle one-handed (while the other one is maneuvering that Big Mac), especially if you’re not expecting that person to pull in front of you abruptly or to have to swerve around the animal that just wandered into your path. Put the burrito down and keep both hands on the wheel.
-Personal grooming can also be a menace to the roadways. Probably less common than texting while driving—but still present—are people fixing their hair or doing their makeup. Slightly more odd occurrences reported have been people shaving, polishing their nails, and even daring to trim their hair while in charge of operating their vehicle. Running late is a certifiable epidemic in today’s world, but even so, be sure your car is in park before you bust out that comb or start unscrewing that tube of mascara. It can wait.
Even if you’re sure to avoid these unsafe driving habits, there are people who won’t. Here at Whedbee Insurance, we want to make sure that both you and your car are covered. Give us a call today, and we’ll help you find the policy that’s right for you.