Safety Solutions: Distracted Driving

This video discusses the four types of distractions—manual, auditory, visual, cognitive—and teaches proper skills to avoid distracted driving.

Did you know that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace death?

Multitasking is a myth. Even though people may think they are able to perform multiple tasks while driving, in reality, the human brain can only rapidly switch between tasks instead of simultaneously processing the tasks. Distracted driving is not only dangerous for you and your drivers, but also dangerous for every other individual on the road.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Activities such as eating, drinking, smoking, using a navigation system, reading maps or adjusting the radio are classified as distractions. When a driver is distracted and finally brings their attention back to driving, it can take up to 1.75 seconds before the driver can recognize a hazard and make a corrective action.

Despite the variety of distractions available to drivers, cell phones lead in terms of usage and fatal crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 11 percent of all drivers at any given time are using a cell phone, and the National Safety Council estimates that 25 percent of all crashes involve cell phones.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. A CMV driver is restricted from unsafely reaching for or holding a device, or pressing more than a single button. However, drivers are allowed to operate a hands-free phone that is in close proximity. 

Even though drivers may be allowed to use a hands-free device, that doesn’t mean the risk is mitigated. Hands-free devices still cause auditory and cognitive distractions. Drivers can miss seeing up to 50 percent of what is around them when talking on any type of cell phone, including hands-free devices.

In order to help raise awareness, Protective Insurance Company is offering a variety of materials from our resource library, including quizzes, handouts, videos and posters. You can also view our Safety Solutions video “Distracted Driving.

You may also visit the National Safety Council website to take the Focused Driver Challenge.

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Driving Techniques
  • Distracted Driving