• Summer Holiday Safe Driving Tips: Avoiding Driver Distraction

    Summer Holiday Safe Driving Tips: Avoiding Driver Distraction May 26, 2016

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, approximately 41% of accidents in a sample of some 5,000 crashes were caused by driver “recognition error, which included driver’s inattention, internal and external distractions, and inadequate surveillance.” Given that Memorial Day Weekend is known to be one of the most crowded times on the roadways in America, limiting driver distraction is critical to your safety.

    Accidents caused by distractions while driving are not a new phenomenon, but as more devices are used by drivers, the risk of having an accident has greatly increased. The cell phone has drawn particular attention in recent years.

    Many states and jurisdictions now prohibit drivers from using hand-held phones while driving. While the hands-free approach may seem like an obvious solution to cell phone-related safety problems. Studies suggest that conversation itself is the most prevalent single behavior associated with cell phone-related crashes.

    Though the cell phone has drawn special attention recently, any distraction can be a potential hazard to a driver. Here are some tips to avoiding distractions while driving:

    Before Driving

    • Make sure you are well-rested.
    • Prepare in advance for things you may need while you are driving like sunglasses, toll money, or other items.
    • Know your route before you leave.
    • If using a rental car:
      • Familiarize yourself with the vehicle controls (radio, wipers, lights, etc.).
      • Adjust mirrors.
      • Make as many adjustments as possible like seat position, radio, temperature volume, windows, etc.
    • Do not leave loose articles in the vehicle that may slide around while you’re driving.
    • Take care of personal hygiene (e.g., shaving, putting on makeup, etc.) prior to driving.
    • Make sure you are well rested.
    • Take care of phone calls, eating, or other activities prior to driving.

    While 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.
    • Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times and keep your mind on driving.

    Take Breaks

    • If you feel your concentration is impaired or something is distracting you, park the vehicle in a safe location and take a break. Get out of the vehicle at a safe location, walk around, and stretch.
    • If you need to make a phone call or receive an important phone call, pull over and make that call from the parked car.

    Following the tips above will help ensure you and your loved ones safely reach your destinations this Memorial Day Weekend. Drive safe and have fun!

    Portions of this post reprinted with permission from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Brunswick Companies is an independent insurance agency representing only A Rated carriers. We value our carriers’ investments in research and proudly share their market insights.