Cell phones can take a back seat now to simple daydreaming as the primary cause of distracted driving. This loss of focus on the task at hand was associated with over 60% of fatal distraction-related accidents between 2010 and 2011, according to research conducted by Erie Insurance using data from the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration (NHTSA). That doesn’t mean it’s okay to use your cell phone now when behind the wheel. Making a call or reading a text still holds the number two spot on the list for dangerous distractions.
But many of us are heading to work or school or just doing errands without really focusing on the very complex act of driving. Daydreaming about a problem on the job, an argument you had last evening or trying to remember what you need at the grocery store takes away your cognitive or mental skill set required to drive under any circumstances. Add bad weather or changes in road conditions to that mix and you could have the perfect storm for a tragic event. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to occur. If your mind is elsewhere, so are your reflexes. Good hand-eye coordination and active engagement is essential to responsible driving. The next time you put the keys in the ignition, the only thing to think about is getting yourself and your passengers to your destination safely and competently. And save the daydreaming for a stationary setting.
For tips on how to stay focused, check out this video on YouTube.