We cannot stress enough just how dangerous it is to drive while distracted. When your mind is focused on someone on the other end of a phone, it’s not focused on the road, and that’s a recipe for disaster. The National Safety Council has released a valuable new infographic that seeks to impress upon drivers the idea that distraction is a serious hazard on the road. The hope is that such awareness can cut down on the estimated 21% of all crashes which can be attributed to distracted driving.
The NSC is using the infographic as a means to bust a series of myths surrounding distracted driving. First is the idea that multitasking is even possible at the wheel. The NSC explains that driving and using a phone are both thinking tasks, whereas something like walking while chewing gum involves a thinking and non-thinking activity. That’s why the latter is possible while safe cellphone usage while driving is not.
The NSC also addresses the myth that a conversation with someone on a phone is the same as speaking with a passenger. But the truth is that a passenger is attuned to fluctuations in the environment that require greater attention, and they adjust their own behavior accordingly. Someone not in the car cannot do that.
Drivers must also recognize that hands-free conversations create just as much of a distraction and that reaction time of a distracted driver is worse than someone who is drunk.