SAN ANTONIO — Even though there are fewer people driving now than before the coronavirus pandemic, distracted driving is still a major cause of accidents. One of the reasons? People participating in Zoom meetings; something that isn't safe and can be deadly.
"We've seen a few folks here in there who have been injured while trying to participate in some sort of remote meeting," said University Hospital's Trauma Medical Director Dr. Mark Muir. He has even witnessed that unsafe habit himself. Dr. Muir told us, "I've even had unfortunately some of the meetings I've been on where I'm pretty sure some of the participants were driving and trying to navigate the roads while Zooming or WebEx chatting those types of things."
Zendrive completed a study comparing driving before and during the pandemic, and found that collisions per million miles were up 20 percent, hard breaking was up 25 percent, the number of drivers speeding was up 27 percent. The use of cell phones behind the wheel was up 38 percent.
And with Zoom meetings and interviews becoming the norm, that number is only going up. Dr. Muir added, "People need to stay safe out there, pay attention to the roads, pay attention to the construction signs and warning signs up."
Here's what Safe2Save recommends. Curb your distractions. Before you leave for your destination put all papers and personal items in the backseat. Navigate the road and radio beforehand. If you use your phone for maps, podcasts or music, set it all up before putting the car in drive.
Set up your cell phone to automatically text someone if they call or text while you are in your commute. That'll help you with temptation. Dr. Muir added, "Remember driving a vehicle is still just as dangerous now as it was prior to some of the restrictions put in place by the pandemic."
You can even download the Safe2Save smartphone app. With the app you earn points for safe driving which can be exchanged for goods at online local retailers. If you download the app and use the code KENS you'll automatically get 1,000 points which can be exchanged for free food.