The Most Common Driver Distractions and How to Prevent Them

Nearly everyone is guilty of some form of distracted driving.  Driving is a skill which requires your full attention.   In these days of multitasking, cell phones and traffic make it  easy to be distracted while driving. 

Here are the most common distractions and how to avoid an accident:

  • Cell Phones:  Using your cell phone while driving is the biggest distraction on the road, and it is against the law.  You are 23 times more likely to be in a crash when texting while driving. We suggest putting your cell phone away or keeping it hidden to avoid the temptation of using it while driving.  We encourage you to take the pledge and make a pact with yourself to not use your cell phone while driving.
  • Drowsy Driving:  Stay alert and save a life! Drowsiness increases the risk of an accident by nearly four times. If you are tired, pull off the road and take a break.  Like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of crashing.
  • Avoid Eating & Drinking: Being busy or running late is not an excuse for being unfocused on the road.  For example, eat your breakfast BEFORE you drive to work.  If your food or coffee spills while driving, this is a major distraction which can easily cause an accident.  There’s even a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which lists the most dangerous foods to eat/drink while driving.
  • Reading:  Whether it’s a on your cell phone or the morning paper, put it away.  Even if you are stopped, this is very distracting and can easily lead to an accident.

Facts that really hit home:

  • In 2011, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. (NHTSA)
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting.  When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. (NHTSA)
  • 44% of adults say they have been passengers  with drivers who used the cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.  (Pew Research Center)
  • Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teenage drivers.  Alcohol-related accidents among teens have dropped but teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged because distracted driving is on the rise. (CHOP, State Farm Insurance, & NHTSA Study)

Drivers who are distracted and fail to focus their full attention on the road are the leading cause of most crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

We believe in staying educated, which is why we have several online training courses.  Our growing selection of online driver training courses includes topics such as accident procedures, air brakes online training, hazmat driving and parking rules, night driving, speed management, and much more.

 Because of all the everyday distractions, we highly recommend taking the Pro-TREAD Driver Distraction Online Training Course which identifies and prevents driver distractions.  The Ryder Pro-TREAD course is easy to follow and will help train a new driver and an experienced driver.  The cost of the course is reasonable and well worth the investment to help save lives.  Don’t just take our word for it; you can view the testimonials of our customers here. 

To see all the online training courses we offer click here. 


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