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.
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