Posted by: Ed Becker | October 2, 2008

FATAL DISTRACTION!

Your comments and strategies are requested on this topic!  Read on.

 

If you could choose to share the road with drunk drivers, drivers intoxicated from smoking marijuana, or drivers talking on cell phones or texting, which of these would you choose to feel safest?

 

The answer from the research may surprise you.

 

A 2004 University of Utah study found that when drivers were talking on either a hand-held or hands-free cell phones, their braking reactions were delayed and they were involved in more traffic accidents than when they were on the phone.  Drunk drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 however, exhibited a more aggressive driving style, drove more slowly, and were overall safer.  When controlling for driving conditions and time on task, drivers who were talking on cell phones were more impaired and dangerous than legally drunk drivers.

 

A British study released in September 2008 found that drivers who send a text message on a mobile phone are more dangerous than being drunk or under the influence of drugs.  A study of young drivers between 17 and 24 found their chances of being involved in a crash increased significantly if they were writing, reading or even ignoring text messages while behind the wheel.  Texting had the biggest impact on their ability to keep a vehicle in a lane, with their steering skills judged to be 91 per cent worse compared to 35 per cent if they had smoked cannabis.  Their reaction times also slowed by 35 per cent, a much steeper decline than drivers who had reached the legal drunk driving limit or smoked cannabis.

 

Email, text messages, cell phone calls, ring tones, buzzers announcing new messages, and more are persistent distractions in our daily life.  How do you deal with staying on task?  Your comments and input will help us all develop healthy strategies to reduce stress and drive more safely!  

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