In today’s world, many of us have our cell phones with us at all times. We can’t imagine leaving the house without it and it can be really hard to ignore all of the bells and whistles that work to get our attention throughout the day. But, there is one place where it is imperative to completely ignore your phone—in your car.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and we want to talk about how there is more to distracted driving than just texting. While texting is perhaps one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel, talking on your phone, even with a hands-free device, can be just as risky.
While you might think using Bluetooth to connect your phone so you don’t have to use your hands is a safer way to talk or text, it isn’t. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drivers talking on their phones, with or without using their hands, are four times as likely to be involved in an accident. And, the NSC estimates that 21% of all accidents in the United States involve a driver who was talking on his or her cell phone.
Both driving and holding a conversation are thinking tasks. Because of this, your brain cannot simultaneously focus on both at the same time and actually rapidly switches between the two activities. This can cause drivers to miss up to 50% of their driving environments.
Now, this does not mean you can’t hold a conversation while you drive. It simply means if you want to talk to someone they have to be in the car with you. An adult passenger in the car can give drivers an extra set of eyes and can adjust their talking when driving gets difficult and can even help point out potential road hazards. A person on the other end of a cell phone can’t do any of these things.
If you want to drive distraction free, you can sign this online pledge to take back your drive and promise to not text, have conversations, or do anything else on your phone while driving. Let us know if you are taking the pledge to bring awareness about distracted driving at 171 Nissan!