Driver Distraction

Accidents caused by distractions while driving are not a new phenomenon, but as more devices are used by a driver, the risk of having an accident has greatly increased. Today, one device in particular – the cell telephone has become a significant highway safety concern. Studies have shown that almost 80 percent of drivers leave their cell phone turned on while driving, and 73 percent report having talked on the phone while driving.

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

Tips to Avoid Distractions Before Driving

  • 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., sun glasses, toll money, etc.).
  • Make as many adjustments as possible (e.g., radio volume).
  • 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.

COPYRIGHT ©2003, ISO Services Properties, Inc. CV-90-11 8/2/03The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services Properties, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedure.