Distracted Driving, distressed driving, emotional driving, Stress, Stressful Driving

#Stress and #DistractedDriving

stressed driver

Stress, no matter the source, can lead to distracted driving.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts April, 2019 Research Note reported that nine percent of fatal crashes in 2017 were reported as distraction- affected crashes, killing 3,166 people. The age group consisting of 15 to 19 year-olds had the largest proportion of drivers who were reported as being involved in distraction-affected crashes.

The NHTSA recently pinpointed stress, or driving under the influence of emotions – distressed driving – as a cause of as many as 80% of crashes involving distracted driving.  While distressed driving is not punishable under the law, it may have severe public safety consequences.

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it is real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in an automatic process known as the “stress response.” The body’s nervous system, however,  isn’t very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If you become super stressed over an argument, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if you are facing a true life-or-death situation.

According to the widely validated Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, these are the top ten stressful life events for adults:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Marriage separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Death of a close family member
  • Injury or illness
  • Marriage
  • Job loss
  • Marriage reconciliation
  • Retirement

Even if you have not experienced any of these, or are feeling overly happy, sad, angry, excited or sad, drivers can suffer from impairments that drastically reduce their safety on the road.

During #NationalStressAwarenessMonth that coincides with #DistractedDrivingAwarenessMonth, here are some tips on how to beat emotional stress that might render you a driving hazard:

1) Look after yourself physically
Stress raises your cortisol levels which have a big impact on your physical well-being as well as your emotional state. It’s important to remember to look after yourself in all the usual ways: getting enough sleep, eating well and taking regular exercise.

2) Learn to stop worrying
You can learn to recognize and treat rising feelings of anxiety. Some people get back aches when they are over-stressed, in others stress might manifest itself as pain in other parts of the body – these are signs that you are experiencing anxiety and body signals telling you to stop, recalculate and get going calmly down the right road again.

3) Challenge unhelpful thoughts
The way that we think about things has an impact on our mood, anxiety and stress levels. Many of these thoughts occur outside of our control and can be negative or unhelpful. It is therefore important to remember that they are just thoughts, without any real basis, and are not necessarily facts. Even though we may believe a lot of our unhelpful thoughts when we are feeling low, anxious or stressed, it is good to remember that they should be questioned, as they are often based on wrong assumptions.

Advocacy, car crashes, Collisions, Crashes and Collisions, Distracted Driving, driving behaviors, fatalities, Head-on Collisions, Hit and Run, Multi-Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA, Rear-End Crashes, Road Safety Research, Texting and Driving, traffic fatalities, Traffic Safety

Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

UText_Campaign_info

Distracted driving has become a national epidemic—endangering passengers, adjacent vehicle occupants, motorcyclists and bicyclists, and nearby pedestrians. Distracted driving involves a range of activities, from texting or talking on the cell phone to adjusting the radio station, applying makeup, eating, chatting with other passengers, smoking or taking a sip of your drink…. anything that can distract a driver from the essential task of safe driving.

Texting has become one of the most common, pervasive forms of distracted driving, and too many drivers are succumbing to this deadly habit, illegal in all states and the District of Columbia except Arizona, Montana, and Missouri. April is DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with state and local officials to step up enforcement and catch distracted drivers.  From April 11 to April 15, the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign will in full force as a national high-visibility effort to enforce distracted-driving laws. Consider the frightening statistics behind this dangerous trend:

• Between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
• According to NHTSA, there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. While this reflects a 9 percent decrease from 2016 to 2017, there is still much work to be done. In the last six years, 9.5 percent of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
• Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among younger drivers. In fact, in 2017, 8 percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the times of the crashes.
• According to NHTSA, young drivers 16- to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
• Female drivers with a cell phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted driving crashes as compared to male drivers every year since 2012.
Safety Tips for Driving
• If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
• Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay
• When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Texting and driving isn’t trendy “normal” behavior—it’s a selfish, deadly and, oftentimes, illegal activity that could kill you, a loved one, a friend, or a stranger.
• In 47 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, texting while driving is an illegal, ticketable offense. You could end up paying a hefty fine, and could get points on your license.
• If you see something, say something. If your friends text while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers: If they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.

Remember, when you get behind the wheel, put your phone away and don’t get caught in the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. dragnet focused on making our roads safer for all.
For more information, visit http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

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Source:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

Distracted Driving, Uncategorized

#JustDrive kicks off distracted driving month

justdrive_$20
JustDrive.com offers a host of information about the risks and dangers of talking or texting behind the wheel and other forms of distracted driving.

What is the best way to save $200? Ask the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, and they’ll tell you…… the fines for talking or texting on a handheld device have increased to $200 for the first offense and $400 for the second offense. Fines for the third offense are a minimum of $600 plus a possible 90-day suspension of driver’s license and three (3) motor vehicle penalty points. Don’t talk or text while you drive, and you are sure to save at least $200 – clever!

As we kick off the month of April, we will be exploring the campaigns taking place across the country to help avoid crashes and collisions caused by #DistractedDriving, beginning with our friends from the Garden State. Watch the videos, read the stories and consider the tips and take the pledge offered online at http://justdrive.com/.

Distracted Driving, Uncategorized

#DistractedDriving kills and injures thousands of people each year.

Safe driving requires that a driver master 1500 tasks. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. That includes hi-viz billboards, talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, looking for a radio station, setting a navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

 

famouslastwords
Anna, such an eager little girl……

 

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration provides tips on how we can all play a part in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving:

TEENS

Teens can be the best messengers with their peers, so we encourage them to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, to have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, to become involved in their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter, and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.

PARENTS

Parents first have to lead by example—by never driving distracted—as well as have a talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Have everyone in the family sign the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teen driver that in States with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.

EDUCATORS AND EMPLOYERS

Educators and employers can play a part, too. Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving. Ask your students to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy on distracted driving.

Driver Improvements joins efforts to make our voices heard. Tomorrow, #DistractedDriving Prevention Month begins. If you feel strongly about distracted driving, be a voice in your community by supporting local laws, speaking out at community meetings, and highlighting the dangers of distracted driving on social media and in your local op-ed pages.

 

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.