We’re at a point where our electronics follow us everywhere — including behind the wheel. Small things like placing a phone call or answering a text message only takes a quick second, but so does the car accident that’s prone to follow.
Texting in particular has become the mother of all evils behind the wheel. Studies taken within the last few years show that texting while driving, or driving while “intexticated,” is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk — about 1.6 million car accidents per year, according to the National Safety Council.
Think of your kids and the example you set as they watch you text when dropping them off at school. Think of how many times you’ve hit the brakes before ramming into the back of a car because you were placing a call before arriving at the office. It doesn’t stop at texting though. In fact, distractions can come from many things we do in a car.
Auto insurance firm Esurance describes the three types of driving distractions – cognitive, visual and manual – by recognizing what your driving habits are. Fiddling around with the GPS on your phone (visual) or attempting to fix the portable DVD for your kids (manual) or reaching for your briefcase in the backseat while driving can cause just as much mayhem as sending a text message.
Limit these distractions by being proactive. Set your GPS before leaving the driveway. Strap the kids in and start the movie before getting in the driver’s seat. Leave the work in the backseat. Get situated with a hands-free device before pulling out (be aware though, that talking on the phone can divert your attention just as much as reading a text message).
All in all, none of these distractions are beneficial to your driving experience. So why not just focus on the road? Why risk wrecking your car, or worse? The facts show that the electronics that connect your busy life can wait.
Briana Miller is a Brand Marketing intern at public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. She is a freshman, planning to major in Human Rights, at Trinity College-Hartford, Conn.