“Daydreaming”at the wheel

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Have the advanced driver assistance systems decreased the number of road accidents? Unfortunately not. Statistics show that the most common cause of road accidents is the driver's behaviour and not technical condition of vehicle or weather.

Speeding, alcohol, fatigue are topics well-known from social campaigns, just like the rules of using seatbelts or seats for children. However distractions are the subject often disregarded or unnoticed by drivers. Road accident statistics show that every third incident is caused by a distracted driver. The main sources or distractions have been presented in above drawing. Distractions have a multilevel impact so e.g. a phone conversation influences the field of vision. There is also the physical aspect (we take our hand from the wheel when texting), and the cognitive aspect (our thoughts shift to the conversation).

How to avoid distractions?

Follow the tips below:

1. Reduce the use of electronic devices to minimum. They distract our sight and thoughts from the road, which causes “blind driving”.

2. Keep both hands on the wheel (put business documents, laptop, newspapers and shopping into the boot. This is the safest place for them).

3. Be focused on driving. After fastening your seatbelts and starting the engine, switch off the thoughts about work, family problems or other equally emotional topics.

4. Do not let the passenger called “time pressure” go with you. This dangerous “guest” is the reason for many improper behaviors. Remember that activities like eating, drinking, smoking or reading e-mails should be done before the trip or during a stop for rest. Be focused on driving, look ahead so nothing can surprise you on the road.

 

Drawing 1. Factors that reduce concentration while driving.

Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/-/media/files/distracteddrivinginfographic

14.12.2015
Grażyna Łukasik

Grażyna Łukasik

SHE Manager

Runs SHE projects (Safety, Health and Environment)in Raben Group. Specializes in occupational health and safety as well as in ergonomics of workstations. A DGSA Advisor since 2003.

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