The U.S.Department of Transportation (DOT) has devoted a vast amount of time and dollars to educate the American people on the very real and horrifying dangers associated with distracted driving. The DOT website, www.distraction.gov, is devoted exclusively to keeping the public informed and aware of the tragedies caused by motorists taking their attention off the road, and the efforts the DOT is making to help eliminate distracted driving in all its forms.
Earlier this month, a comprehensive strategy to address the “distraction epidemic” was released by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Blueprint For Ending Distracted Driving outlines a plan that builds on the national momentum the DOT has advanced over the past several years to stop this destructive driving behavior. The plan
- Encourages the remaining 11 states without distracted driving laws to enact and enforce this critical legislation;
- Challenges the auto industry to adopt new and future guidelines for technology to reduce the potential for distraction on devices built or being brought into vehicles;
- Partners with driver education professionals to incorporate new curriculum materials to educate novice drivers of driver distraction and its consequences. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show drivers under the age of 25 are two to three times more likely than older drivers to send text messages or emails while driving;
- Provides all stakeholders with actions they can take that go beyond personal responsibility to helping end distracted driving nationwide.
As a professional limousine driver, there is little doubt that you will be affected by distracted drivers every working day. And while you can’t control the dangerous driving behavior of others, you can take steps to help keep the roads safer. Learn to recognize
the signs that a driver is distracted: inconsistent speed; continual hard-braking; insufficient following distance; eyes continually looking down and not ahead through the windshield; wandering into another lane. Keep your distance from those drivers that seem oblivious to the flow of traffic. And for any behavior that you would normally do outside your vehicle – eating, shaving, putting on make-up, texting or talking on the phone – wait until you can safely pull off the road to do these things so that you don’t become a distracted driving statistic.