SF Gate reports on a Study: Distraction Behind Most Car Crashes that examined “nearly 2 million miles driven and more than 43,300 hours of data.” What they found is that paying attention to your driving is an important path for driving safety. While cell phone use is a popular distraction, other distractions are probably more important for the RV enthusiast.
Eight out of 10 crashes involve drivers who are drowsy, chatting on a cell phone, applying makeup or otherwise distracted from the road ahead …
Reaching for a moving object while driving increased the risk of a crash by nine times …
Drowsy driving increased the driver’s risk of a crash or near-crash by four to six times …
When drivers took long glances away from the road ahead of them at the wrong moment, they were twice as likely to get into a crash
and, of course, a realization of how these kinds of studies can create irrational responses that plague us all (e.g. speed limits!)
“I urge legislators not to interpret these results as a need for new legislative initiatives. It is simply not good public policy to pass laws addressing every type of driver behavior,” said Lt. Col. Jim Champagne, chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association
While we have seen efforts to mandate proper and responsible driving, we have also seen the failures of this approach. Instead, you should take it upon yourself to make sure that your driving is not distracted and that you are alert to the possibility of other drivers who might be distracted and know how to avoid them.
When you are driving, put your attention and focus on your driving. Do not let someone distract you with a “hey! look at that!” Don’t try to catch that thing sliding off the dash. Let someone else in the vehicle take care of phone calls and properly stashing stuff and taking pictures and other things so you can pay attention to driving. Take frequent breaks. Stop and take a nap if you even think you are getting drowsy.
Also keep in mind that you must be able to adapt and adjust to conditions. A road like the Oregon Scenic Outback
doesn’t require the kind of attention that city driving does. Adjust your driving as appropriate but never let your guard down and always be alert to what is on the road ahead and what your rig is telling you.