Your Safe Car Is Only as Safe as Its Driver

Img source: The Verge

Automakers add more advanced driver assistance technologies to many vehicles in their lineups every year. But whether you choose to buy a Toyota Camry, an Audi A4, a BMW 5 Series, or some other safe car, none of the safety features on it will do you much good if you insist on being an unsafe driver.

Yes, this is yet another article about why you should never talk or text on your cellphone while driving. Will you listen this time and change your ways?

The National Safety Council reports that upwards of 100 people die every day on America’s roads and highways due to distracted driving. And most distracted driving results from drivers using their cellphones while behind the wheel.

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Hands-free Technology

“But I use hands-free voice-recognition technology,” you say. “I never hold my cellphone when I drive. I just talk to it when I want to text or make or answer a call.”

If you think that makes you safe, think again. It doesn’t. What you need to realize is that despite today’s obsession with multitasking, your brain can only do one thing at a time, even though it can do it quite quickly. Nevertheless, consider the following:

  • When you text or talk on your cellphone while driving and using hands-free technology, your brain has only 67% of its ability to see and process movement around you.
  • It has only 50% of its ability to see and process stationary objects around you.

It’s your cellphone usage itself that’s unsafe, not the methodology you use. When you talk or text while driving, you’re breaking one of the cardinal rules of safe driving; i.e., always think about your driving, not something else. Studies bear out the fact that using hands-free technology to talk and/or text on a cellphone is actually more distracting than holding your phone while you do it.

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Safe Driving

It goes without saying that your life and the lives of your passengers depend on your ability to drive safely and defensively at all times. So do the lives of the people in the other vehicles around you. Is checking to see where your BFF ate lunch really more important than that?

For other ways to stop distracted driving, click here.

The Statistics

Unfortunately, 55% of drivers admit to checking social media while driving, 68% of passengers report noticing that their driver checks social media on his or her phone, and 25% of drivers admit that they’ve actually recorded a video while driving. This despite the fact that 44% of Americans believe that checking social media while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving, while a full 73% believe that it’s more dangerous than smoking while driving.

It appears that the addiction to social media has usurped Americans’ ability to think rationally. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You do have a brain. All you need to do is use it, especially when you’re driving. Ultimately, no one, including the auto manufacturers who provide you with ever more safety technology, can save you from yourself. Only you can do that. Only you can make the irrevocable decision not to use your cellphone while driving.