Christy had booked a reputed chauffeur service while she was travelling from the USA for her best friend’s wedding in London. She wanted to surprise Molly with her visit. She had booked the chauffeur service with a car and coach hire company well in advance.
When her flight landed, her chauffeur helped her to fetch her luggage and get comfortable in the car. After a while, she noticed that there was loud music being played in the car. She liked music, so she started to enjoy it herself. Later, the chauffeur got a text on his cellphone. He immediately started to reply holding the steering wheel in one hand and typing with the other. Christy ignored it as she also had the habit of doing it herself. The car suddenly jumped over a big bump and Cristy almost fell right off her seat. The driver apologized and they moved ahead.
After some time, the driver’s cellphone rang again. He took the call and started talking. Suddenly, Christy shrieked loudly as there was a giant truck right in front of the car. And just when they were almost near to being hit, Christy woke up from her sleep in the aeroplane. She realised it was just a bad dream.
The next thing she wanted was making sure that the chauffeur service that she had booked followed the distracted driving laws. She now had true knowledge about how risky it could be to drive with so many distractions. As the flight landed, the first thing that she did was finding out everything that a chauffeur should know about the distracted driving.
Here is the information that she collected.
What is distracted driving?
There are three major types of distracted driving. They are visual, manual and cognitive. For safe driving, the chauffeurs must keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel. They must have their full attention and focus on the task at hand as these three distracted driving types can prove riskiest.
Besides making sure that your car is cleaned, tuned and filled with gas, the most important thing that you must do to ensure safe and risk-free driving is to stay focused and avoid the distractions like mobile phones. A text might get you distracted just for 5 seconds but those few seconds can turn fatal. The maximum number of distracted driving accidents where the distraction was a cell phone occurred between the age group of 20-39, while 3,450 people were killed in the affected crashes. Here is a graph supporting the point.
Here are a few facts about distracted driving found by Christy:
Roads are filled with distracted drivers.
According to a study conducted in the year 2016, more than 50% of drivers admitted using their cell phones for either texting or calling or to be active on social media while driving. Nearly 60% of respondents admitted that they use the cell phone at least once or twice. Also, the study found that younger people strongly correlated with the increase in cell phone distraction scores.
Even if someone is not distracted, you should know and be careful as most of the drivers on the road are enjoying their own pieces of little distractions. So, it is you who needs to stay alert.
- Visual distractions
The first type of distraction which is the most common and occurs each day with all of us when we drive is a visual distraction. The visual distraction is nothing but the things which takes away a driver’s focus and his eyes wander away from the road, even if that is just for a split of a second. Adjusting devices in the vehicle, like a radio or GPS, talking with the person sitting next to them, to view a new text message on their phone, or looking outside the car window are all the examples of visual distractions. These factors keep the drivers unfocused and can cause terrible accidents.
- Manual distractions
The manual distractions never come in alone. They come in a package with visual and cognitive distractions. A few examples of manual distraction are:
1) Using hands-free when you are in the driver’s seat.
You might have heard it a thousand times that you should not call or text while driving. So, you found out a better alternative using a headset or hands-free technology. Right? Absolutely wrong! According to another study, once you are finished making a call or voice commands, you will remain distracted from your driving at least up to 27 seconds before getting back into the driving pace.
And 27 seconds is a very long time for the unpredictable things to happen. In those seconds, you might not notice the signboards or the pedestrians and vehicles passing by which could be absolutely hazardous. So, why give the unwanted things a chance?
2) Eating and driving
Eating and driving is a very common thing for youngsters or those who follow a tight schedule. But you should know, the driver needs to take away one or both of his hands from the wheel in order to eat or drink a cup of coffee. This leads to disturbance in the focus and causing visual, manual and cognitive distractions for the drivers.
- Cognitive distractions
The last but not the least of the three distractions is the cognitive distraction. It keeps a driver’s mind unfocused during driving. The driver feels inattentive and has trouble concentrating on the road. It might be because of something else going on in the driver’s mind due to emotional stress, a stressful call or even lack of sleep. This is the most potential distraction for causing an accident. Hence, it needs to be identified as soon as possible and a person not having the right state of mind should avoid driving rather than putting their own and someone else’s life at risk.
Distractive driving laws and prevention of distractive driving
The distractive driving laws are strict in most of the states even though each state has a different way of dealing with this problem. There are laws driving which strictly prohibit the use of cell phone even with hands-free devices while driving.
A good chauffeur service must adhere to the distractive driving laws in order to prevent hazards. They must discourage the chauffeurs from giving in to any of the three types of distractions while driving. They must implement practices like keeping the cell phones off during rides and setting the GPS and other devices well in advance.
Right when Christy was going through all the details of distractive driving, her chauffeur arrived to fetch her luggage. Christy was surprisingly relieved once her chauffeur adjusted the GPS. On the way to her hotel, she noticed the text blinking on the chauffeur’s phone and was very pleased as he ignored it till. Her curiosity led her into asking the chauffeur about ignoring the cell phone to which he smiled and said: “Ma’am since you had booked the chauffeur service through TripCenter where the drivers are verified to follow the distraction driving laws. We believe in the saying better to be safe than sorry.”