As part of our ongoing efforts for National Safety Month, we invite you to review the following myths about driving distracted as presented by the National Safety Council.
MYTH: I have an infotainment system in my dashboard, so it’s safe for me to speak my texts and drive.
FACT: Despite auto makers equipping vehicles with dashboard infotainment systems at an increasing rate, these systems can bring some driver distractions. In fact, voice texting features have been found by research to be even more distracting than typing.
Why? Even if drivers don’t need to use their hands to type texts and emails, voice-to-text features require drivers to look at the translated messages to be sure they are correct.
Drivers also are mentally distracted because they’re focused on talking and fixing the message errors. Slower reaction times occur, no matter whether drivers are typing a text or using voice-to-text technology.
MYTH: Most car crashes are caused by car malfunctions such as faulty brakes, blown tires or engine problems.
FACT: Vehicle problems represent a very small portion of crashes. Most vehicle problems have to do with improperly inflated or maintained tires. As much as 90 percent of all crashes are caused by driver error and can be prevented.
Cell phone use behind the wheel can lead to driver error, and it’s a very prevalent behavior on our roads today – 9 percent of drivers at any given daylight moment are talking on phones while driving. Drivers using cell phones are four times as likely to be in a crash, in part because their ability to respond to hazards is significantly affected. Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50 percent of the roadway environment, including traffic signs, pedestrians and cyclists. All of these risk factors could be lessened if drivers would hang up their phones and simply drive.
What do you think about driving and talking on a phone? Let us know in the comments below.