Distracted Driving - A Firsthand Account
The inspiration for this week's safety blog topic was a result of an accident I witnessed on my way in to work recently. I was almost to the Thruway entrance and was nearly cut off by an electrical contractor's truck; which a minute later failed to yield right of way and made a left turn directly into the driver's side of an oncoming pickup truck. The pickup truck was pushed nearly 20 feet, and the explosion of glass was so incredible I was sure that the driver was going to need medical assistance. As I pulled to the side of the road and dialed 911 I saw both drivers exit their vehicles; the pickup truck driver was crawling out of the passenger side of his. I crossed the street to make sure everyone was ok and I heard the electrical contractor state to another witness "I guess I was just distracted by the thoughts of all I had to do at work today."
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and bystanders, and we all need to remember that our decisions drive our safety.
One of the biggest hazards that we are all aware of is distracted driving due to technology (cell phone use, GPS use, etc.) which may or may not have contributed to this particular accident-but how often do we consider:
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Reading, including maps
• Getting "lost in thought"
Luckily the accident victim in this situation was able to walk away from the distracted driving incident he was involved in with very minor injuries, but I'm sure we can all recall a more serious accident that we've either witnessed or heard of.