One morning in early 2013, Jimmy said goodbye to his parents, promised to be back on time for lunch and headed out to the car. As soon as he turned into a major road, his friend texted him, asking them to meet, that he had lined up a potential prospect for their new business.
Instead of Jimmy parking the car and replying to the text, he decided to reply with his left hand on the wheel. The text he sent his friend was “Okay… will see you in a bit”. That was the last text message he sent. You see, Jimmy whilst texting had unknowingly veered into the oncoming traffic. By the time he looked up, it was already too late. He was involved in a head-on collision and died on the spot.
All this happened within a few seconds. And believe it or not, this scenario –or something similar- happens every day on one or more roads and is responsible for many accidents. So, if you drive, what distractions do you need to be on the lookout for?
Texting and Calls Whilst Driving
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 10 people die and over 1000 people sustain injuries every day as a result of accidents caused by distracted driving. And the major culprits are texting and calling whilst driving.
It is not enough to use Bluetooth headsets or have a call button on your dashboard. While those can help, the truth is receiving calls whilst driving distracts you. Multiple studies –including one where there were clowns riding unicycles in a major park- have shown that when people are receiving calls, they’re mostly unaware of what’s happening in their environment.
Texting is worse because you’ll need to look at your phone. This takes your eyes away from the road. You might think you don’t need more than a few seconds, but a few seconds it all it takes to either cause or be involved in an accident.
Passengers and Kids
Have you noticed how active and great the car is when you’re driving or going on a trip with your friends? Well, it also has its downsides. One moment you’re all joking around, the next, you’re involved in an accident. This is one of the major causes of accidents among teens and youths.
The ruckus, possible loud music and all the kidding around often distracts the driver who may momentarily partake in it, run a red light or skid off the road and get in an accident. The same goes for parents driving their kids to school or a game.
Arguments and Fights
When couples fight or have a disagreement, one person needs to walk away, particularly when it’s getting out of hand. But instead of walking, most people just get in their cars and drive. The thing about driving when you’re angry, hurt, enraged and sad is that you probably won’t be thinking clearly. As a result, you’re more likely to make poor decisions while behind the steering. In fact, many men have been known to get out of the house to go to a bar where they get drunk and then drive themselves home. So, instead of driving when you’re upset, take a very long walk. It’ll clear your head and help you calm down.
Some other distractions that can lead to accidents include tinkering with the radio, applying makeup, drinking, road rage, eating, opening canned drinks, looking for things under the seats, loud music, and absentmindedness. The bottom line is no matter what, try to maintain your focus whilst driving. We all want you alive and healthy. So, take care and be safe.
Eduardo Dieguez is a 1st generation American born Cuban that is currently in pursuit of his AA Degree at Valencia. Eduardo spends countless hours tinkering with electronics both new and old. When not working with electronics, he stays busy writing content for www.TimsGermanAuto.com.