SWOV Catalogus

121214

Distractions in everyday driving.
C 42566 [electronic version only]

Washington, D.C., American Automobile Association AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2008, 7 p.

Samenvatting These days, people are bombarded with devices that can help accomplish more in less time. With people spending an average of about one hour and 15 minutes in their vehicles every day, unfortunately, other activities — from talking to the kids to eating dinner — often take place behind the wheel. Experts estimate that drivers are doing something potentially distracting more than 15 percent of the time their vehicles are in motion. If you're driving your vehicle, you are already multitasking. At a minimum you are: operating a piece of heavy machinery at high speed; navigating across changing terrain; calculating speeds and distances; and responding to all the other drivers and obstacles around you. Putting one more activity in the mix — even talking to your passengers or changing a radio station — can be enough to make you lose control of your vehicle or fail to respond in an emergency. An AAA Foundation study found almost everyone reaches for something, adjusts a control, or gets distracted at some point while driving, which is one of the reasons distracted driving is such a big problem. Driver inattention is a factor in more than 1 million crashes in North America annually, resulting in serious injuries, deaths, and an economic impact that some experts say reaches nearly $40 billion per year. After reviewing crash-report data and footage from cameras mounted inside the vehicles of study participants in two states, researchers concluded that it’s not only the new or high-tech gadgets that are creating the biggest distractions. Drivers today are getting distracted by many of the same things that distracted drivers 100 years ago—passengers, things that catch one’s attention outside the vehicle, and objects in the vehicle that move or fall over. Activities like eating, smoking, and reading are distractions just like high-tech ones, such as text messaging, emailing, or using a cell phone. (Author/publisher)
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