Distracted driving is something that affects everyone, every day. Drive down the road for just a few minutes and you are bound to see another driver talking on a cellphone, sending a text message, eating, or perhaps adjusting the radio. Maybe you’ve even been guilty of yourself. Here at Vanyo Insurance Group, we know all too well the dangers and financial pitfalls of distracted driving. Continue reading to find out more about these distractions and how to minimize your risk of becoming the latest distracted driving statistic.
A driving distraction is any activity that detracts from your ability to provide your full attention to the road and respond with quick action. The most obvious of these distractions are physical distractions, such as texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, putting on makeup, or eating while driving. However, mental and visual distractions can be equally dangerous. Examples include looking at a navigational screen, looking at surroundings, or arguing with a passenger.
The Risk You Take
Unfortunately, distracted driving can have grave consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 3,000 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of distracted driving. It’s no wonder; after all, reading just one text message can take a driver’s eyes off the highway for 100 yards. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Occupant Protection Use Survey found that an estimated 660,000 people are using hand-held devices at any given time during the day while driving. Not only are these people posing a risk to themselves, but they are putting others at risk, too.
Distractions in and around the car can lead to:
- Slower braking times
- Missed stop signs and traffic signals
- Poor lane maintenance
It is important to note that many states and local municipalities enforce their own bans on the use of hand-held devices while driving. Unfortunately, Arizona has no ban on cellphone use, but several cities do. In an effort to avoid the use of hand-held devices, many drivers use hands-free Bluetooth technology to make and receive phone calls in the car.
Though using a hands-free device sounds like a safe alternative, the simple act of having a cell phone conversation takes a lot of thought. The National Safety Council has found that drivers who talk on hands-free devices still fail to notice up to 50 percent of their surrounding environment. While they might physically “see” other drivers and objects on the road, they may not actually be “aware” of them.
Driving is not a leisure activity. It is something that must be taken very seriously. It requires your full attention to protect yourself, your passengers, and the occupants of other vehicles. You can improve your focus on the road by:
- Adjusting mirrors, radio and GPS systems before your departure
- Pledging to avoid all cell phone use while driving
- Pulling over to eat, drink, care for a child, or perform any other task besides driving
Of course, you can’t control the actions of others. Regardless of how safe you are, you could still be the victim of another distracted driver. Paying attention to the road might help you better respond in such a situation, but it also pays to protect yourself financially with the right insurance coverage.
Here at Vanyo Insurance Group, we help Scottsdale area drivers find coverage that protects their vehicles and themselves in an accident. Whether you are hit by an uninsured driver or find yourself in a freeway pile-up, we can help you find a policy that will back you up when you need it most. To get your Scottsdale car insurance quote, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.