“I Never Saw Him!!!”
This is the most common excuse heard after a collision. Was the other vehicle invisible?? Virtually all collisions involve inattention on the part of one or both drivers. Inattention can involve many things, some of which are:
- Daydreaming or Distractions
- Sleepiness or Fatigue
- “Highway Hypnosis”
- Eating or Drinking
- Talking, Cell Phones and Blue Tooths.
Such distractions are estimated to be a factor in 25-50% of all traffic crashes – or up to 8,000 crashes every day. The average driver makes an estimated 200 decisions during every mile they drive. This leaves no room for multi-tasking while behind the wheel. If we are mentally solving work or family problems while driving, we are adding to our total cognitive workload. Other factors, such as weather and traffic conditions can increase the negative impact of distractions on driving ability.
Often, we can be distracted without realizing it. What are some of the warning signs that we are distracted? How many of these things have happened to you?
- You didn’t remember driving from one place to another.
- You drifted in your lane or into another lane of traffic.
- You slammed on your brakes because you didn’t see the car in front stop or swerved suddenly to avoid an animal, a car, or another highway hazard.
Good news about distracted driving is that it’s almost always self-inflicted, the result of bad decisions or planning. That means it’s PREVENTABLE. Start being mindful prior to getting behind the wheel by doing these few tasks:
- Being well rested, planning your route, getting directions, eating, doing a proper pre-trip inspection, clearing your mind of complex or emotional issues/or conversations.
- Being mindful allows you to see, recognize and avoid the hazards lurking on the road. And we’re talking about the attention of both eyes and your brain. It’s not enough to look ahead of you; your brain has to be engaged on driving as well.