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Traffic Safety:

Pay Attention!

There is a proven way to avoid getting into an accident.  I have said it a million times, the first three rules of driving are "Pay Attention, Pay Attention, and then Remind Yourself to Pay Attention".

Guess what?  I am not the only one that says this.  The NHTSA just released a study on Real World Driver Behavior.  Their results in a nutshell, inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes.  As much as 80%!  They plugged in 100 cars, and drove them over 2,000,000 miles to get the data.

The Main Distractions While Driving

Drowsiness is a significant problem that increases a driverís risk of a crash or near-crash by at least a factor of four.  But drowsy driving may be significantly under-reported in police crash investigations.

The most common distraction for drivers is the use of cell phones.  However, the number of crashes and near-crashes attributable to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.  Dialing is more dangerous but occurs less often than talking or listening.

Reaching for a moving object increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by 9 times; looking at an external object by 3.7 times; reading by 3 times; applying makeup by 3 times; dialing a hand-held device (typically a cell phone) by almost 3 times; and talking or listening on a hand-held device by 1.3 times.

Drivers who engage frequently in distracting activities are more likely to be involved in an inattention-related crash or near-crash.  However, drivers are often unable to predict when it is safe to look away from the road to multi-task because the situation can change abruptly leaving the driver no time to react even when looking away from the forward roadway for only a brief time.

So there you have it.  Maybe the key driving slogan shouldn't be "Don't Drink & Drive", but "Keep Your Eyes On The Road".

Information provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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