Over the course of decades, the purpose for which we use automobiles has changed considerably. When the first cars were rolling off of the assembly lines in the 1920s, they had one purpose and one purpose only: transportation, or simply getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Today cars are becoming an all-in-one living system. Car owners eat lunch in them, watch television using special screens, play video games and of course talk on the phone, often while driving. As time goes on, car manufacturers are equipping vehicles with an endless series of gadgets, enabling us to enjoy ever more conveniences.
Sitting in the middle of this technological bonanza, it is easy to forget that simply because something is easy, does not mean it is right, or even safer. While drivers take the so-called “skill” of multitasking to the next level, they do fail to remember that their tricked-out vehicle could be deadly. To be sure, as with most tasks that become almost second nature, driving becomes an almost unconscious task. That being said, it does not mean that it is okay to do other things while driving. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
As the statistics of car accidents shows, in addition to other research, even merely thinking about something other than the road distracts us from the road. As a matter of fact, when a driver removes their eyes from the road, they typically think the distance traveled is short, when in fact, it can be quite long. This effect is only increased when driving at higher speeds, such as on the interstate or freeway. Usually, this is enough distance to possibly hit someone or something that suddenly appears in front of the driver. When drivers look away from the road, they are assuming that there is nothing in front of them, thus gambling not only with their life, but the lives of others, as well.
According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety between four and eight thousand car crashes happen daily as the result of becoming distracted while driving. A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association revealed that 60% of all cell phone use occurs during driving. These are chilling statistics, and underscore the need to change driving habits in order to prevent the worst from happening.
Here are two steps to take to improve driving habits and head off potentially lethal events:
- Do not use a cell phone when driving, period.
- Make sure that the driver is familiar with the controls on the dashboard so they can easily adjust the settings without difficulty.