Monday, June 3, 2013

NHTSA Study Reveals Greatest Safety Risks To Drivers

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One driver’s undivided attention is one very important thing to ensure everybody’s safety on road. That is why as a driver, you need to drop everything the moment you step on the car and take the driver’s seat. The reason for this is that even the smallest distraction can cause catastrophic accidents that can leave people injured or worse, dead.

Taking distractions away
Given the very bad effects of distracted driving, the government, through the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been coming up with various efforts to put an end to distracted driving. One of the many efforts done by these agencies had it releasing guidelines that can help minimize in-vehicle distractions that can affect one’s driving. According to the DOT, as affirmed by a Los Angeles accident attorney, any activity that require drivers to take their hands off the wheel or their hands off the road  when using them is classified as a cause of distraction. The most common examples of such distractions while driving are one’s reading and/or sending of a text message through their mobile phones. Another is the use of video-based equipment for communications and entertainment. This includes video phoning or video conferencing. Finally, displays of types of text like text messages, web pages and social media contents.

NHTSA studies
NHTSA’s “The Impact of Hand-Held and Hands-Free Cell Phone use on Driving Performance and Safety Critical Event Risk” is a naturalistic study that the agency conducted to help put an end to distracted driving. By determining the source and the effects of distraction to drivers, the NHTSA hopes to come up with solutions that will help soon end distracted driving and the accidents that it brings. These are some of the points the agency has discovered through the study:
  • Visual-manual tasks degrade a driver’s focus and increases the chances of getting into a crash by up to three times
  • It is found that text messaging, browsing, and dialing are the ones that cause the longest duration of a driver taking his or her eyes off the road that increases the risk of road accidents by up to 1.73 times

These findings are used by the DOT in its “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving”; a safety plan that has been launched by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This plan aims to come up with a more systematic and strategic approach that can help the government end distracted driving, which can greatly lessen the amount and extent of damage to property, injuries, and deaths by putting a stop to accidents. A Los Angeles attorney believes that with the citizen’s support, these programs initiated by the government will bring about results that will make American roads safer.


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