Topics: Distraction, Road safety, Tram accident Pages: 5 (795 words) Published: August 12, 2015

Distracted Driving: Source, Effects & Consequences Report
Anna Tran

September 13, 2014

Distracted Driving: Source, Effects & Consequences Report
In the past ten years, distracted driving has emerged as one of the most high-profile, discussed issues in road safety today. In fact, 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver attention as contributing factors (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010). In order to fully understand what distracted driving is and how to prevent it, one must acknowledge the causes and effects. The most critical element is knowing how to prevent this recurring issue, knowing these elements decreases one's risk of getting into an accident.

By definition, “distraction involves a diversion of attention from driving, because the driver is temporarily focused on an object, person, task, or event not related to driving, which reduces the driver’s awareness, decision-making, and/or performance, leading to an increased risk of corrective actions, near-crashes or crashes” (Hedlund, 2006). This definition incorporates three important aspects of the problem – the source, the effects, and the consequences. The Source

In diagram 1.0, there are three qualifying types of distracted driving: manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions are those where you move your hands away from the wheel thus losing control of the vehicle. Reaching for your vibrating phone to check a text message or answer a cell is a common distraction. Visual distractions are those where you focus your eyes away from the road. You look down at your cellphone to see who is calling or what the text message says, this also falls into the cognitive category. A cognitive distraction is when your mind wanders away from your primary task of driving. You start to consider your response to that text message your friend just sent, this is when you lose human control of the vehicle (Allstate Canada, 2009).

Cellphone usage is the most common form of distracted driving because it involves all three forms of distracted driving. There are other forms of distracted driving such as eating, drinking, other passengers in the car and even reading. The Effects

Any form of distraction takes the driver away from focusing on their main task of driving. As soon as the driver is distracted, they are 3 times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers (Alberta Transportation, 2011).

Distracted drivers are more likely to detect hazards later than they would have done originally– at this point it can be too late to prevent an accident. Additionally, distracted drivers underestimate the effects that the distraction can possess on them and they do not realize they have reduced awareness to spot hazards (Cnossen, 2004). Distracted drivers also have difficulty controlling their speed and distance between surrounding vehicles. The more involved a driver becomes with the source of distraction, the more hazardous the distraction is on ones' ability to observe and operate the vehicle safely (Cnossen, 2004). The Consequences

Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and result in fatal accidents. The severity of these accidents can range from a minor scratch on your vehicle all the way up to a totaled car and injuries or even fatalities. According to Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving causes more road deaths than drinking and driving and speed combined. In the first seven weeks of 2012, distracted driving has killed nine people on roads patrolled by the OPP (CBC 2012). Many of these drivers believe they can multitask easily but any form of distracted driving should be avoided at all costs as it is hazardous for anyone around them.

Every day people drive distracted without any serious consequences, it appears to be apart of every day life for a driver. It is the lack of awareness and knowledge of consequences that makes distracted driving dangerous....
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