Road Traffic Digest No. 12Distractions During Driving 3D Ref: Road Accident/causes/Human Errors-3
Multitasking behind the wheel can be dangerous. Distracted driving in its various forms contributesto about 18% of serious or fatal crashes. RememberA slight distraction at high speeds can prove fatal ! www.tsunamionroads.org
For safe driving, proper coordination of threesystems is extremely necessary viz:• Eyes - fixed on to the road• Hands – to have a good grip on the steering• Mind - should react quickly to any unfavourable situation An act that affects the efficiency of any one of thesethree factors can prove to be potentially dangerous. Some common distractions are …
Distraction No.1- Use of Cell Phone• Distracted driving due to cell phone has become adangerous trend on Indian roads and at present this is themost common among all distractions while driving.•In some countries like USA, statistics indicate that 28% ofall car accidents are caused by drivers using cell phones. www.tsunamionroads.org
THE RISK :• Talking on the mobile can delay our reaction time by0.5-1.5 seconds and the chances of fatal crashesincrease four to five times more than normal !!• Driving while using a cell phone can reduce brainactivity by 37%.• Many believe that using a mobile phone while drivinghas the same or even greater risk as that of being drunk[comparable to .08mg/dl of alcohol]. www.tsunamionroads.org
You may argue that when you are allowed to talk toyour co-passengers or to listen music while driving thenwhy can’t you attend a call. Yes, it is true to some extent. Most of the driving you dois at a subconscious level of brain. The active involvementof brain is required only when some unusual situationcomes on road. The reaction time of your active brain is sofast that you hardly notice this. So far as listening to musicor chatting to your co-passengers is concerned, it doesnot distract or affect your active brain significantly. However… www.tsunamionroads.org
- - - talking on mobile phone or indulging in ‘SERIOUS orLOGICAL discussions’ with co-passengers certainlycauses greater distraction or reduces reaction timesignificantly. When dialing or talking on mobile or engaging in anintense conversation with co-passengers you cannot watchover the surrounding traffic as much is needed. www.tsunamionroads.org
An increase in the rate of crashes expected with timebecause the popularity of mobile phones has grownenormously [93 crore subscribers up to 31st May 2012] Today I earned Rs. 35 Lakhs
Texting: The MOST dangerous (23 times riskier) among all cell phone related tasks, including talking, dialing, or reading messages on the phone while driving.• It engages and distracts all three systems i.e. visual[eyesoff the road], manual [fingers on key pad] and the brain.• Sending or receiving a text takes a drivers eyes off theroad for an average of 4.6 seconds, this means you crossabout 100 meters length of roads blind !! www.tsunamionroads.org
Hands-free set cell phone also distracts your mind and isjust as dangerous as a hand-held set.Reason being: Though your hands are free, theconcentration power of brain is affected as it becomesinattentive during talking. Hands only follow commands ofthe brain and if that commander is busy the army will sitidle during any alarming incidence. www.tsunamionroads.org
Talking while driving a two wheeler is equally, if not more dangerous.It is dangerous even for pedestrians:Walking with phones leads to attention deficit, slowingdown of reflexes and make us blind to dangers on the road. www.tsunamionroads.org
There is a rising concern about many serious healthhazards & warnings in relation to cell phones like braincancer, reduced fertility, sleep disorder, anxiety to mobilering, etc, etc. www.tsunamionroads.org However….
- - - - we have yet to report the FIRST death dueto cell phone induced brain cancer in the world What we can confirm right now is that - - - - - - www.tsunamionroads.org
- - - - - approx. 60,000 deaths occur every yeardue to cell phone related distracted driving allover the world [ a very conservative estimate !] www.tsunamionroads.org
Distraction No. 2 : Dashboard Dining:With the popularity of fast food, the people are frequentlyseen eating or drinking during driving. The fast foodchains are making changes in their menu and itspackaging so that it is better suited for dining whiledriving. www.tsunamionroads.org
Eating while driving not only causes distractions butcan also complicates the condition of a person afteraccident by causing choking of respiratory tract due toaspiration of food particle. This choking due to food itemsin mouth can kill someone instantly !! Not only this, hyperglycemia due to excess calories maylead to dozing behind the wheel !! www.tsunamionroads.org
On the other hand, automobile companies areencouraging dashboard dining by providing modificationslike cup/bottle holders, folding tables or even smallrefrigerators. We feel this is a wrong trend and has to bediscouraged.Are these automobile Co.s aware of these facts?? www.tsunamionroads.org
Distraction No.3: Adjusting Radio, CD Player or GPS: It is frequently observed that people while driving try totune in the radio or look for CDs/cassettes in glovecompartment that divides their attention.If you are a ‘highly selective type’ of music lover then it isalways better to keep your favourite pieces ready to playbefore driving. If you have a co-passenger then instructhim to do so.
Distraction No. 4 : Children•They may distract driver’s attention by playing or talkingconstantly, throwing toys, frequently changing their seatsfrom front to back or play with the steering or otherimportant levers.• Sometimes a ball can move forwards in driver’s seat andcan be trapped under the brakes.• Children should be taught car manners just as we teachthem table manners.
Distraction No. 5 love-making during driving [Car as a love nest]• Although no data are available, it is not infrequent to findlove-making during driving as a cause of severe or evenfatal accidents on roads. The moving car has been found asafe, easy, cozy and economic place for dating or love-making. In spite of the fact that you are on the road, youenjoy good privacy in a car, which may be even betterthan in a restaurant.
The intensity of these moments can certainlyincrease the intensity of accidents !We are not saying that love birds do it intentionally or in aplanned way, sometimes it happens like that.
Thanks [really?] to the invention of floor gear in new carsthat has broken the continuity of front seat therebykeeping the love birds apart.For the same reason some romantic couplesmight miss the single, uninterrupted front seatof old model cars.
Our film producers are also encouraging this trend likeMr Bhatt who is suggesting many tips to the viewersSee how Bipasha is training John about “How to drive in case you areblindfolded - - - Similarly Jacqueline is training Emraan, “How to hold steering with legs When some one loses both upper limbs in road accidents!!
We would like to remind our watch dog i.e. CensorBoard that besides alcohol & cigarette, there are muchmore dangerous issues like distracted driving which canINSTANTLY KILL someone. Of course these days sex is not a big issue in our filmto be monitored ‘seriously’ by Censor Board, however, itsdisplay in a wrong place and with a wrong message iscertainly to be checked.
Distraction No.6: Applying Make-up or combing hair, etc [of course for ladies]Some even feel an irresistibledesire for make-up andcustomize their car accordingly
NOW our traffic police is taking this make-up spreebehind the wheel seriously.
Distraction No. 7 : A beautiful lady on the road or onthe hoarding may also seriously detract your attention.
Distraction No. 8 : Watching TV while driving or reading including mapsIt is difficult to understand how these auto Co.s getpermission for installation of such gadgets like TV on dashboards !!Do our road safety organizations have any role or controlover it !
Distraction No. 9 : we often see people lighting acigarette, belting themselves or co-passengers,repeatedly glancing at wrist watch, etc during driving.
Distraction No. 10 : One peculiar distraction typical inIndia only, is bowing before the gods to pay their respectswhile passing through the road side temples.
What to do for offenders, especially Mb users? The surprising/funny fact is that 84% of cell phone userssay that they believe using a cell phone while driving isrisky or dangerous, but do it anyway or cant help it. If you or your business are really dependent on callsor cannot avoid them while driving, it is preferable to havea driver. This would also help you to do additional workbesides attending phone calls and the extra earning thusobtained certainly will cover the salary of your driver. Besides awareness, the only solution that remains is thatof imposing frequent penalties on offenders, not only forthe benefit of users but more importantly for the benefitother road users .
Please leave multitasking to our politicians asthey are more experienced in doing many ‘seriousjobs’ at a time even in assembly hall !! Watching P@#n
- - - in the next digest we will discuss some other‘human errors on roads’ , followed by ‘automobileand road defects’. After that we will take up therole of different agencies to control this malady[like the role of citizens, trafficauthorities, automobile companies, public worksdepts., health dept. , themedia, parents, NGOs, etc in this scenario. www.tsunamionroads.org
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In future, besides road accidents, the following topics will alsobe discussed on this platform :• How to decongest our cities• Vehicle induced environmental pollution• Arrogance on Roads: Aggressive driving and Road rage• Public Attitude towards traffic rules in the City• Problems of pedestrians• Road traffic and global warming• The economics of vehicles• Petroleum Subsidy: Right or Wrong?• Biography of urban roads in India• Traffic Policeman: Problems & Challenges• Drinking & Driving