Beasley Best Community of Caring – Distracted Driving Month

Beasley Best Community of Caring

Clocking in on Distracted Driving – Does Time Of Day Affect DD Rates?

Distracted driving claims over 3,000 lives each year. That’s nine deaths per day. Obviously, distracted driving is dangerous whenever it occurs. Take your eyes off the road for five seconds at highway speed, and you’ll travel the length of a football field. But what you might not know is that distracted driving can become even more dangerous at the end of the workday. According to the National Safety Council, 43% of crashes occur on weekdays between 4:00 p.m. and midnight, with the largest number happening between 4 and 8 p.m. This is the time that most drivers are ending their workday and are more likely to be tired. Combine fatigue with distraction, and your reaction time can be seriously affected! You’re reaching for your coffee, and the truck in front of you stops suddenly. You look down to see who’s calling your cell phone, and a child runs out from between parked cars. When you’re already tired, checking the GPS, answering a call, switching from heat to defrost, all of these things can increase your chance of an accident. The time between perceiving the danger and making the right decision is not only shorter, but your ability to react is now slower. For weekdays, accidents peak on Fridays, the end of the work or school week. And the deadliest day of the year? Coming in at Number 1 and packed with the leading causes of distracted driving, cell phones, GPS apps, passengers, kids and pets… it’s Thanksgiving! The National Safety Council estimates about 507 people may die on U.S. roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period, traditionally a time of travel for families all across the country. What do you do? Being aware of the dangers is the biggest safety factor. Try to boost your energy levels, evaluate your sleep schedule, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol to prevent late afternoon fatigue. Avoid driving when you know you’re tired. Acknowledge that you’re not at your driving optimum at the end of the day and avoid distractions. Turn off the phone notifications. Keep conversation to a minimum and wait until you’re stopped to enjoy that coffee. And don’t forget, even if you are feeling fresh and alert, your fellow drivers may be worn out and done for the day. These are the hours to practice your best defensive driving. Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road!

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