How Many of These Driver Distractions Do You Do?
The NHTSA has released its list of the top ten driver distractions that are attributed to driving fatalities. Many of these distractions are typical, but some may be a bit surprising.
Top Ten Driver Distractions
1. One of the most common driver distractions is Lost in Thought. Drivers get into a vehicle and think about anything but driving.
2. The most publicized, texting and cellphone use while driving.
3. External distraction, including people or objects.
5. Reaching for something in the vehicle.
6. Eating and drinking.
7. Adjusting the sound or temperature controls.
8. Using other controls or devices of the vehicle.
9. Moving an object in the vehicle such as a pet or insect.
Driving With Pets Is a Big Driver Distraction
Many pet owners may be surprised at number 9, but pets are a safety concern and also a distraction for drivers. Most pet owners admit to allowing their animals to ride unrestrained, many small pets riding on driver’s laps. But pets can generate a significant amount of force in a collision. For example, an 80-pound dog can generate 2,400 pounds of force in a 30mph crash. This force can result in the death of the animal if unrestrained and also significant injury to the driver and potential passengers.
Drivers need to ensure that pets are not projectiles. Pets need to be restrained in the backseat by a pet seat belt or pet carrier. Drivers need to understand that Fido may enjoy having his head out the window, but it is unsafe. Debris and particles can injure the pet’s eyes and ears. If there is a need to stop suddenly, there is a greater risk of injury to an unrestrained pet.
Pets are part of the family and should be treated the same way a child and passengers are treated when they are traveling in a vehicle. Fido needs to be kept just as safe as everyone else who wants to enjoy a ride! Young Drivers of Canada wants everyone to be safe, including your furry passengers!