What is distracted driving? How can we take steps to stay focused on the task of driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. We have all heard the saying “Driving is a privilege not a right”. If you cannot devote 100% of your attention to driving due to some other activity then consider it a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while you are behind the wheel.
All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Text messaging is by far the most alarming distraction because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver.
As we age it is normal for our driving abilities to change.
Older adults can take several steps to stay safe on the road, including:
- Avoiding distractions in your car, such as listening to radio, talking on cell phone, texting, and eating.
- Exercising regularly to increase strength and flexibility.
- Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.
- Having eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses
- Driving during daylight and in good weather.
- Finding the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows, and easy parking.
- Planning your route before you drive.
- Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you.
- Considering potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend or using public transit
Here are some links for more info.
Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/distracted-driving/tips-for-preventing-distracted-driving/#.WKStAiLrsdU