Driving is an activity that requires your utmost attention, and it comes as no surprise that distracted drivers are a leading cause of accidents on the road. Accidents happen in a matter of seconds, and just a moment with your eyes away from the road can be dangerous.
So what distractions are the worst? Virginia Tech Transportation Institute explored this question in a three year study that gathered information from more than 3,500 drivers using onboard video cameras and sensors.
During the course of the study, almost half of the participants were involved in some sort of driving incident, and while some accidents were small – like the little bumps into stationary objects – others were rather serious, and distraction played an important role in both types.
An unexpected driver distraction that researchers noticed was mood. Whether subjects were crying, angry or agitated while behind the wheel, these strenuous emotional conditions increased the risk of a collision up to 980 percent. And even more frightening than this was the fact that drivers were distracted more than 50 percent of the time they were on the road!
One of the study’s most interesting findings was that interacting with children in the back seat of your vehicle is nowhere near as dangerous as expected. Why? Researchers believe that driving in your children’s presence actually has a proactive effect, since you are paying closer attention to the road and making more careful decisions to help ensure their safety.
For drivers getting behind the wheel after a difficult day, we recommend taking a few deep breathes to calm yourself for the drive ahead. Interested in brushing up on your defensive driving skills? Check out PermaPlate’s recent article about our top five defensive driving tips here.
Accidents can happen to anyone, which is why it is so important to keep your vehicle protected. Here at PermaPlate, we offer a variety of protection packages to ensure that your vehicle will stay looking like new throughout your time together.