What causes driver inattention? A host of distractions enter a driver's world, some preventable, some not. Sudden noise from another vehicle (e.g., backfiring), another vehicle having a problem and blocking a lane (e.g., flat tire), and similar distractions are not preventable. Using a cell phone, reading the newspaper, selecting music, eating, and a host of other distractions can be avoided.
Crashes caused by distractions while driving are not a new phenomenon. Studies show that as more devices are used by a driver, the risk of having a motor vehicle crash increases. The use of a mobile phone is a significant driving safety concern. Studies have shown that most drivers leave their cell phones turned on, and report having talked on the phone while driving.
Many states and jurisdictions now prohibit drivers from using hand-held phones while driving and have banned texting. While the hands-free approach may, at first, seem like a solution to phone-related safety problems, it presumes that crashes caused by cell phone use result primarily from dialing, from having only one hand on the wheel, or from reaching for, holding, or dropping a phone. Although these factors certainly contribute to the crash picture, studies suggest that a conversation itself may be the most prevalent, single behavior associated with cell phone-related crashes.
Tips to avoid distractions
- Know where your vehicle's controls are located so that adjustments can be made without losing concentration on the driving task.
- Make sure all loose objects are properly stowed and secured.
- Adjust mirrors.
- Prepare in advance for needs (e.g., sunglasses, toll money, etc.).
- Make as many adjustments as possible (e.g., radio volume).
- Take care of personal hygiene (e.g., shaving, putting on make-up, etc.).
- Get sufficient rest.
When operating a vehicle
- Drive defensively – remember you need to compensate for the actions of other drivers.
- Do not eat or drink.
- Do not read or write anything.
- Avoid smoking.
- Do not use communications devices (e.g., cell phones), except in an emergency.
- Do not engage in distracting conversations.
Take a break
If you feel your concentration is impaired, park the vehicle in a safe location and take a break – it is much easier to get distracted when you are fatigued or concerned about things other than driving.
Copyright ©2020, ISO Services Properties, Inc.
This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you. The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC FEB 2019 2015-084