Californian roads can become dangerous when the drivers on it are displaying reckless behaviors due to distraction. It is important for everyone to look at how they can cut down on their own distractions and make the roads a safer place for everyone.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes a look at both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle distractions, which have the same effect on drivers: it takes their attention away from the road. The NHTSA considers out-of-vehicle distractions to be things such as road construction, crashes, or things (or people) of interest outside of the vehicle.
In-vehicle distractions can be much more numerous and include:
- Interacting with passengers
- Changing music
- Drinking or eating
- Adjusting any dashboard settings
- Reaching for objects
- Uncontained pets
Of course, some of the biggest distractions are portable electronics such as cell phones. Some experts go so far as to say that electronic-based distractions are the “new DUI", especially as the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to mobile device usage continue to rise.
So how does one cut down on these distractions? Geico weighs in, stating that the best way to prevent distracted driving is by eliminating distractions in the car. This means limiting the number of passengers at any given time, only using portable devices in the event of an emergency, or pulling off the road if one needs to do something that would take their eyes off of it - even if that thing would be "quick". In taking just these few steps, driving conditions improve for everyone.