Each day in the U.S., approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is of particular concern for local governments who keep fleets of municipal vehicles.
So how smart are you when it comes to distracted driving? Here are four top misconceptions:
1) I’m using hands-free tech, so I’m not distracted.
False. Wireless technology designed to keep your attention on the road is actually causing more drivers to be distracted, said Tim McCarty, risk manager for Trident Public Risk Solutions.
A study by AAA found dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands can cause mental distractions for as long as 27 seconds.
2) It only takes a few seconds to read a text, so there’s really no harm.
False. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
3) Distracted driving is safer than drinking and driving.
False. Drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, or the legal limit, according to a University of Utah study.
4) Cell phone use is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents.
False. Believe it or not, more than half of distracted driving accidents were caused by conversations with passengers, according to federal data.
Trident offers tips, training and other resources for government employers to help their employees drive more safely.
These include advice on developing a policy for employees to follow when it comes to cell phone use and information on creating a driver disciplinary program.
Learn more about how Trident Public Risk Solutions has public entities covered when it comes to risk management at www.argolimited.com/trident.
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