Your Concierge Doctor Encourages You to be an Attentive Driver. Just Say NO to Distracted Driving

April 17, 2015

This may save your life or the life of someone you love

Distracted driving is driving while engaging in another activity like talking on the phone, watching videos, reading, texting, looking after children or eating. All of these activities take the driver’s attention away from the road. All distractions
compromise the safety of those in the car, those in other cars and pedestrians. Distractions maybe visual,( taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel) or cognitive (when the focus is not directly on the act of driving). Technology ( texting or talking on a cell phone) has made distractions even more dangerous because it involves a combination of visual, manual and cognitive attention. Also the person who you are talking to is not aware of what is going on while you are driving and cannot pause in the conversation when needed because of traffic. Driving with a dog or a caged animal can be a constant distraction.
Certain foods and drinks can be dangerous distractions. Coffee was the worst because it tends to spill even if it has a travel lid. Hot soup, tacos, chili, hamburgers and barbecue food were the next most dangerous. Eating is messy and may mean that you are not watching the road.
Numerous studies show that distraction is a factor in a majority of accidents and traffic deaths. Talking on the cell phone even hands-free while driving put you at about the same risk as driving drunk.
Make a commitment that you will not be a distracted driver. Turn off your cell phone and place it out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer. If there is a passenger in the car they can handle any calls or texts. Adjust your mirrors and air conditioning before traveling. Preprogram your favorite radio station. Have a passenger help with directions or if driving alone map out your destinations in advance. Avoid food and beverages, at least foods that are hot or messy. Be sure that food and drinks are safely secured. Do not under estimate how distracting children can be while you are driving. Teach children to behave in the vehicle. Do not make phone calls or text to someone who is driving. Call them back when they are not driving.

You wouldn’t drive drunk. Don’t drive distracted.
Being an attentive driver may save your life or the life of someone you love.

As your concierge physician I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.