Talk is cheap
Talk is cheap. We know that. I often try to prove what I’m trying to get across whenever I’m training someone how to drive at Young Drivers of Canada. There’s an old saying that “it’s more difficult to argue with yourself than it is with someone else”. If I can get someone to buy into a system or a belief, they will tend to use it. No one really does what they don’t believe in. Would you agree? Now’s my turn to try to get you to buy into the real problem of distracted driving. Are you ready?
The have been many, many times throughout the last number of years when distracted driving has been in the news. There may be so much of it in the news that people tend to ignore it. Are you like that? Do you tend to tune out that information because you always keep hearing about it? Sorry to hear that because you’re about to get a taste of it again. This time you’ll also get proof that distracted driving needs to end.
The photo here shows a screen shot where the driver was holding a cell phone up to his ear just before his vehicle was impacted by another vehicle. The first problem you may think would be that he only had one hand on the steering wheel. That’s only a minor issue. He had his mind on a phone call and not on what he was doing as a driver. He pulled out in front of another driver on a highway. As you watch the video time and time again, you’ll be able to see that visibility was good but the driver just slowly pulled out in front of the moving vehicle anyway. The driver of the pickup was lucky the vehicle that crashed into the back of his truck didn’t crash into his driver’s door. At highway speeds, he would have been easily killed.
This could have been easily avoided if the driver turned their phone off and put it out of reach. Only the driver can do this. Government restrictions won’t do it. Fines won’t do it. Even articles like this won’t do it. YOU have to do it. Will it take a close call like this one to make you change what you do behind the wheel? Major injury or death?
Cell phones aren’t the only thing that creates distractions for drivers, but they are the most recognized and most common. Eating food, drinking a beverage, passengers, having loose items moving around the seating compartment, pets and even changing the music can create a distraction for the driver. Drivers need their mind on their driving and not on anything else. When your mind and vision is elsewhere, you’ll be unable to stay focused on the sudden changes within the driving environment.
When people say they can multi-task, they are actually doing referred to as “task switching”. Task switching is when you quickly move from one task to another. You’re not actually doing multiple activities at the same time. When one of the two activities takes your thought or vision away from the road ahead, you won’t see what you may need to avoid while driving. When your mind isn’t on your driving task, good luck. It won’t help you make the needed decisions every driver needs to in order to survive on the road.
Are you big enough to make changes to reduce or even eliminate these distractions? And by the way, these types of mistakes and crashes won’t always happen to someone else. They can happen to you if you ignore these warnings. Now is the time to make the change while you’re still able to do it. Do it, don’t just talk about doing it. Talk is cheap.