Last week as I was heading home on the Outer Ring Road, I was amazed to see two accidents.  I shook my head and then asked myself why I was surprised.  As anyone who travels the roads in Newfoundland and Labrador will attest, accidents happen way too often.  I am sure people all over the country will say the same thing.

So why are these accidents happening?  I am sure we all have our own ideas.  All of these ideas I am sure have merits.  But as I continued my drive home I noticed a common theme.  Drivers not paying attention … Distracted Driving.

Distracted Driving is something that can be easily avoided, but day after day we choose to let things catch our attention and avert our eyes from the task at hand … driving.  Not only do you put yourself at risk, but those around you.

What is Distracted Driving?

Instantly what jumps to mind is the cell phone.  Talking, texting, surfing etc. while driving, but it is more than that.

Phone Use – A phone in the hand while at the wheel is a driver distracted.  The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) sites the fact that a driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident if you texting/surfing etc. on your phone while driving.

Music– With the Advent of Technology and the mobile phone merging as your source of music.  Listening to music is proving to be a source of distraction.  Today people are searching for music on their device.  Additionally, we are looking on the radio at more and more sources of music.  Or we just have the music to loud.  All in all, find what you want to listen to before you depart and get it set up on a realistic volume.

Car Settings – Today’s cars are more and more advanced. Before you head out get all settings the way you want.  Set the heat.  Get the seat right, sort out your mirrors.  There is no doubt that it’s easy to change on the fly … but playing with these settings while driving are a distraction.  IF you need to fiddle then pull of the road and get it right.

Eating or Drinking – we all see as we drive by the car on the inside lane or watch as we get past.  The other driver has food or drink in there hand.  How can he/she be expected to maintain control when one hand is tied up and your mind is elsewhere?  This is a tough one, but if at all possible eat or drink before you drive or only do it at stops.

Personal Grooming – Again it is not an uncommon site.  The driver who is doing her makeup or the guy choosing to shave in the car etc.  What is the priority?  It needs to be driving.  The grooming needs to wait.  Do it before or after.

Others in the Car – this is all too often overlooked.  Our vehicles are modes of transport and obviously are meant to take more than one person.  But heavy conversations or passengers acting as distraction need to be avoided.  Let’s keep it peaceful and keep the driver in mind.  I am sure we can all remember our mothers when we were kids saying …. “I will pull this car over.”  Its sage advice.

External Distractions – Again something that is overlooked.  And realistically it’s not something that can be avoided.  But accidents/roadwork flashing lights all add to the distraction level.  When something like this catches our eye we need to be more vigilant and remember to concentrate on the road.

So what can I do?

The obvious thing is to limit the cell phone use.  Use Bluetooth or turn it off.  Put it out of reach.  Consider technology to limit the use, such as an app or Cell Control.  Talk to our kids.  Education is essential.  Be aware what else is out there such as the list above and be vigilant to take precautions.

Let’s face it accidents are going to happen, but we can mitigate the severity or the rate.  Automobile insurance is key in protecting ourselves.  At Crosbie Job Insurance we offer our clients peace of mind.  They know they can Sleep Easy because We’ve Got You Covered.  Click the link below to get a quote, our contact us to get the process going.

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