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How to prevent distracted driving within your fleet

driving distractions
Driving distractions


7 April 2015

Driving distractions
Driving distractions can be as dangerous as drinking driving

WITH April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Mark McKenna of Bluedrop Services has put together some advice and top tips on preventing distracted driving within your fleet.

Distracted driving is as bad as drink-driving

There have been three main types of distracted driving identified; a visual distraction that causes you to take your eyes off the road, a manual distraction that causes you to take your hands off the wheel or a cognitive distraction where you take your mind off what you are doing. More commonly activities that cause distracted driving include using your mobile phone, texting, eating, using in-vehicle technology, controlling children and pets, reaching for something, grooming or external roadside diversions.

The biggest problem however, due to taking on all three forms of distraction, is the use of a mobile device to text whilst driving. Studies have even shown that use of a mobile whilst driving increases your risk of being in a crash to the same level as drink driving. Yet whilst people are fully aware of the risk they are putting themselves and their passengers under they continue to use mobile technology whilst driving at an alarming rate.

Hands-free is not the solution

Worryingly drivers and even employers do consider the use of hands-free technology to have less of an impact and proportionate to the act of talking to other passengers within the car. However, talking on a phone actually causes more distraction as well as the added danger that an in-car passenger is also likely to help by having their eyes on the road and being alert to any oncoming problems. In addition to this the brain cannot actually multi-task and whilst you may think you can, your brain will actually flit from one activity to the other rather than processing both activities simultaneously.

In fact whilst listening to language your brain’s visual processing activity actually decreases by as much as 37%, where drivers will suffer from ‘inattention blindness’ and miss seeing a large proportion of their surrounding environment whilst driving. Anything that takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds actually doubles your chances of an accident and at 55mph you can travel 10-15 car lengths, so if you are closer than that to a traffic problem then you are likely to crash.

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