Distracted driving is an issue of national concern. New guidelines released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week recommend changes for auto manufacturers. This national safety administration is tightening up their suggestions, reminding automakers and drivers of the importance of focused driving.
The NHTSA completed a study to analyze the visual and manual distractions involved when driving. The study found that when drivers engage in visual-manual tasks connected to handheld cell phones and portable devices, the risk of being involved in a crash is tripled.
Some of the most distracting tasks that drivers try to complete while on the road include: making a phone call, browsing the Internet and text messaging. Just one text message can keep a driver distracted for 23.3 seconds.
These statistics are alarming. Since distracted driving is so dangerous, the NHTSA made several recommendations to manufacturers. While these aren’t requirements, the manufacturers that do follow the new guidelines will likely produce cars that are safer for drivers and passengers.
While the manufacturers learn how to make vehicles designed for safe driving, we should learn to make safe driving decisions. These basic tips should help you avoid being a distracted driver.
- Avoid eating in the car
- Always keep an extra pair of sunglasses in the car to block glare.
- Use a GPS when you are driving in a new area or heading to a new destination.
- Use a hands free device or bluetooth if you must make calls, or put your cell phone away completely and avoid it while driving.
- If you need to check your hair or makeup, only do this when you arrive at your destination or before leaving.