Distracted Driving: It’s not just about Cell Phones and Texting

distracted-driverTalking and texting on cell phones are the most frequently talked about concerns involving accidents and distracted driving, with texting now taking the lead over concerns about drivers who talk on their cell phones while operating a vehicle.

Among the concerns that cell phone use raises is that drivers often become so focused on the conversation they’re having that it distracts them from attention to the road. Several research studies have found that even intense listening on a cell phone can impair driver attention on the road. Cell phone use, even with a hands-free device, can create a situation where drivers develop a potentially lethal form of tunnel vision that creates what researchers called inattention blindness.

Researchers found that inattention blindness slows driver reaction time by 20 percent and that some tests subjects missed half the red lights they encountered in simulated driving.

They reported that the research subjects took in a reduced amount of information while on the phone. They missed things like swerving cars and sudden lane changes, which resulted in several simulated rear-end collisions.

Texting Takes Over As Bad Driver Behavior

Texting on cell phones is now considered an even more serious problem than talking on a cell phone, because it requires looking down at the message the sender is creating while moving fingers that should be on the steering wheel. In addition to not looking where they are going, text message senders are usually focused on their message—not on their driving. Experts tell us that taking your eyes off the road for even one to two seconds can make the difference between avoiding a crash and causing one.

Texting is a particularly serious concern because while 20 percent of drivers admit to texting, when you look at drivers in the age 18-24 year old category, 66 percent are sending or receiving text messages while driving. Add the distraction of text messaging to young driver inexperience and you’ve got a particularly lethal combination.

Currently only a few states outlaw texting while driving, fewer than those that prohibit talking on cell phones when driving, but more states are looking at making it illegal in the wake of a series of spectacular crashes with deadly results.

There’s no doubt having a cell phone with you when you travel is a great resource to use in calling for help or reporting trouble on the road. But whether you use a handhe phone or a hands free device, researchers and safety specialists agree that the only really safe way to use your phone—whether to call or to text message—is to safely pull off the road, stop and then make your call.

Stay safe wherever you choose to go on the road. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind on the road, contact Long’s Insurance Agency to talk about an auto insurance policy.

5 Tips to keep you safe this Holiday

Christmas carFive Tips That Can Help You Stay Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are meant to be a time for fun and celebration with family and friends. However, the hectic pace of the holidays can also present increased risks, such as overcrowded stores and greater opportunities for thieves to target your valuables and personal information. Here are five simple tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season:
  1. Watch Out for Porch Pirates Theft of packages from front porches and stoops increase as online shopping drives more home deliveries during the holidays. Take advantage of electronic delivery alerts and other protections to make sure your gifts are safely delivered — and received.
  2. Beware of Parking Lot Pilfering While you’re in the mall purchasing gifts for your friends and family, thieves may be roaming through the parking lot looking to steal valuable items in unlocked cars. Shoppers should remember to always lock their doors, park in well-lit areas and hide valuables from plain view.
  3. Protect Your Identity, Both Online and in Stores Before you go shopping, think about how much information a thief would get his hands on if your wallet or purse was stolen. Avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports unless absolutely necessary. When shopping online, be sure to only use a secure website, log off from that site after you have completed your purchase, and monitor your bank accounts and credit card activity regularly throughout the holidays.
  4. Travel Safely
    The holiday season brings a number of unique driving risks. During this time of year, we have difficult weather conditions, limited daylight and drivers in unfamiliar areas. By planning extra travel time and eliminating distractions, you can help ensure safe travels during the holidays.
  5. Prevent a Home Fire – Use Candles Wisely Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Dec. 23. are three of the top five days for home fires caused by candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and do not put any candles or open flames near Christmas trees or other holiday decorations that could quickly spark a fire in your home.

Source:  in-sight.travelers.com