So – what’s the best way to stay safe this summer? DON’T CHAT AND DRIVE! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the biggest cause of fatal car crashes – bigger than speeding or drunk driving even – is driver distraction. Chatting on the cell phone is especially dangerous.
Researchers at Condé Nast publications interviewed Dr. David Strayer, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah and he says, in the summer, people are more likely to make calls because they think driving conditions are more casual, and it’s “safe” to take their mind off the road. But when you compare the reflexes and response time of a driver on a cell phone with that of a legally DRUNK driver, the cell phone driver often fares WORSE! Drivers are 4 times more likely to get into an accident when they’re on the phone, even a hands-free one!
WHY? Strayer says conversations can lead to “inattention blindness” – in which you miss up to half of all safety cues, such as flashing brake lights on the car in front of you. The solution? Pull over if you have to make a call. It might delay your trip a few minutes, but your LIFE is worth it.