Insurance Blog
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:10

Disrupting Distracted Driving

You've heard about the typical distractions, such as texting while driving, chatting with friends, changing the radio station, but how about these crazy reasons for distracted driving accidents?

  • Susan Laine was driving down the street and saw a man balancing his laptop on his steering wheel.
  • Someone scared the living daylights out of Darnell Martin when the driver of the car he was riding in took his eyes off the road to reach into the back seat for a slice of pizza while traveling about 40 mph.
  • Imagine the surprise Jessica Bryant had when she saw someone painting their toenails while cruising down the road.
  • “Someone I knew took a lovely photo of the sunrise doing about 75-80 mph in the fast lane on I-75,” Lori Gillespie said.
  • “I shaved my legs while driving to a wedding once,” Kay said in her post. “The nicks alone were enough to teach me a lesson.”
  • Andrea Grace said she tried to open a package she received in the mail and realized the combination of trying to drive and see what she had just didn’t work out too well.
  • And there are more instances of distractions such as changing clothes, opening mail and packages, steering with a knee or an elbow, reading, and shaving -- all behind the wheel while driving.

While these accounts from motorists seem outlandish, and even silly, they happen more than most of us would care to admit. And they are dangerous. What's worse, is that these occurrences of distracted driving are not uncommon -- they are just a small sampling wide-ranging distracted driving actions.

Everyone Can Play a Role in Preventing Distracted Driving

More than 37,000 people died on U.S. roads in 2017 — a staggering number. Policymakers, law enforcement, and victims' families point to distracted driving as an important contributing factor. However, contrary to popular belief, distracted driving does not have to involve a phone. In fact, the phrase 'distracted driving' refers to a broad range of activities -- any activity that distracts your brain from the task at hand.


Distracted Driving Isn't Just About Texting While Driving

Three Travelers executives relay how everyone on the road can combat distracted driving:

When you rent a vehicle do you familiarize yourself with the controls, such as the lights and windshield wipers, while you’re driving? Do you ever eat a burger or have a cup of coffee while you’re behind the wheel? All of these behaviors can be distractions that force drivers to take their eyes off the road.

“Distraction isn’t just about texting,” said Pete Gulbrandsen, Vice President of National Auto at Travelers. “It’s really anything that distracts you; even just your brain wandering.” Gulbrandsen is one of several Travelers leaders taking part in the Travelers Institute® Every Second Matters℠ symposium series, which is raising awareness about distracted driving risks through events on college campuses across the United States and Canada.

Published in Auto Insurance

We’ve all heard about distracted driving studies and listened to warnings issued from the NHTSA, National Safety Council, and a slew of car insurance companies. Distracted driving is responsible for millions of auto accidents and thousands of deaths per year.

So why don’t we just stop, put down our phones, and focus on the road? For many drivers, it's not easy to change habits. Yet the struggle against distracted driving is bigger than statistics and public service announcements. We all need to pitch in to help stop distracted driving. Here are five easy ways to do that.

#1 Be an Example: It sounds easy, but in today’s digitally connected world this is very difficult for many. If you want your friends and loved ones to stop using their mobile phones and indulging other dangerous habits behind the wheel, the change starts with you. Make sure while driving that your phone is silenced and stored in a place where you won’t be tempted to check it, even if you have to store the phone in a closed compartment. Your friends might think you’re nuts, but your devotion to their safety and focus on the road will wear off on them!

#2 Insist on Safety: You might have to endure some eye rolls and heavy sighing, but it is worth it. Every time you get in the car as a passenger, encourage others, especially the driver, to silence their phones. We don’t want to cost you any friends but insisting that the driver silences his or her phone is pretty important. You could also volunteer to drive, which will continue to reinforce your good example to the people around you and help alleviate some eye rolling.

#3 Slow Your Roll: We all know driving too fast is dangerous, but these days, we are in such a rush that we forget to “get ready” before we drive off down the Turnpike. Before you put the car in drive, make sure you are prepped for the trip. Set your GPS destination, find your favorite radio station, finish eating, and finalize those last minute grooming needs all before you begin rolling. A little preparation can go a long way toward saving a life.

#4 Know Your Distractions: There is no doubt about it, some of us are more easily distracted than others, and we each have unique trigger points for distraction. Knowing and understanding what gets you easily distracted can help you avoid those situations, including too many friends in the car, the urge to eat hot french fries from the take-out order (next time put the order in the trunk), or your dog panting in the backseat. Keeping yourself out of these situations before they start will keep you and your passengers safe.

#5 Make Driving Your Quiet Time: Need a little quiet in your life? Consider making your commute your quiet time. Turn off the radio, power down your phone, and don’t be afraid to tell your passengers to zip it.

April is Distracted Driving Month. While the use of cell phones is down, it's not a statistically significant decrease. we must continue the commitment to drive without distractions. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812665

Sources: Plymouth Rock Assurance

 

Published in Road Safety

Distracted Driving Is Getting Worse - Learn What You Can Do To Make The Roads Safer

Today it is easier than ever to become distracted behind the wheel. New technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails, and update social media while driving - all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. As a result, thousands are killed every year due to distracted driving.

According to 2016 statistics, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates as many as 40,000 people died on U.S. roadways, a 6% increase over 2015 statistics and 14% over 2014 -- the most dramatic two-year increase in 53 years.

This month, several organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC), are promoting safety campaigns that encourage drivers to focus on the task of safe, undistracted driving.

 

What Is Distracted Driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

 

3 Types Of Driving Distractions

There are three main types of distractions while driving:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. Furthermore, sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.

Published in Distracted Driving

auto accidents

The New Epidemic.

Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on mobile devices, eating, conversing with passengers, adjusting mirrors or the radio, and other distractions, are a major safety threat.

Distracted driving is now a public health crisis in the United States. Cell phone use while driving whether it is hands free or not, has been followed with accidents, injuries, and fatalities rising at alarming rates!

According to the US Department of Transportation, cell phones are now involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year, injuring 500,000 people and causing 6,000 deaths.

With this historic increase in crash fatalities over the past two years, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security traffic shares the recently launched Highway Safety Division (HSD) “Drive Present” campaign, to stress to drivers the importance of focusing on the road and not on their phones. Driving present is about being engaged in the moment: aware of your surroundings, ready to react when the situation changes. When you’re behind the wheel, you owe it to the people you love to focus only on the task at hand. Why? Because they’re counting on you to make it home safe.

Distracted drivers pose a deadly risk to everyone on the road. Here are 9 tips for managing some of the most common distractions. 

  1. Turn it off. Turn your phone off or switch to silent mode before you get in the car.
  2. Spread the word. Set up a special message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, or sign up for a service that offers this.
  3. Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
  4. Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call for you.
  5. X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It is dangerous and against the law in most states.
  6. Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand held cell phones. GHSA offers a handy chart of state laws on its website: www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.
  7. Keep the kids safe. Pull over to a safe location to address situations with your children in the car.
  8. Secure your pets. Pets can be a big distraction in the car. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.
  9. Focus on the task at hand. Refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.

 Source: the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security website.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 05:08

Hands-free is not Risk-free

  • Hands-free Devices: False Sense of Security


    ​From the National Safety Council

    Think using a hands-free device while driving makes you safer? Think again. You may be surprised at how this NSC infographic shows the cell phone conversation is distracting. In order to stay safe, you need your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on driving.


  • Hands-free is not risk-free


 

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 05:03

The #1 Cause of Workplace Death

  • From the National Safety Council

 

April is National Distracted Driving Month and here are important resources to share!

Did you know the leading cause of workplace death is car crashes? NSC estimates aquarter of crashes involve cell phones. Learn more about this workplace danger in this infographic and how employers can take the lead by putting cell phone policies in place. 


 
 
 


Published in Blog

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