Distracted Driving Facts and Tips to Say Safe on Wisconsin's Roads

Distracted Driving Facts and Tips to Say Safe on Wisconsin's Roads

Are you making the choice to drive safely, without distraction?

With cell phones, navigation devices and the advent of vehicle WiFi, it can be difficult to unplug from technology, even on the road! But making the choice to drive, without distraction, can help reduce injuries and fatalities on Wisconsin’s roadways.

At Murphy & Prachthauser, we want to help raise awareness about distracted driving through education. Take a look at all of the facts and information you should know to help stop distracted driving in its tracks.

Distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting and driving. In fact, the type of distraction you face is often more important than what is causing the distraction.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three main types of driving distractions:

So while reading a text and driving is certainly a visual and manual hazard, a cognitive distraction can be just as dangerous. In fact, later in this article, we’ll share a study that points to the dangers of cognitive distractions in more detail.

In recent years, the number of distracted driving accidents has been steadily increasing.

Consider what you can do to prevent distracted driving and what laws you need to look out for in Wisconsin.

Read this article about Facetime and driving - you may be suprised by the findings.

According to a 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hands-free talking and voice activated programs may not be as safe as people believe. “We’re seeing that using hands-free technology to text or email is frankly more distracting than talking on the phone, which still has a significant risk associated with it,” said Pam Moen, the spokeswoman for the Wisconsin branch of AAA. The AAA study called Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile identified and measured the cognitive distraction drivers face when performing tasks in addition to driving.

Three experiments were done to measure the cognitive mental workload in addition to performing numerous tasks, like listening to the radio, listening to an audiobook, having a conversation in the vehicle and using hands free technology or speak-to-text programs

Through a variety of techniques for measuring cognitive distraction, the study found that listening to the radio or an audio book requires a relatively low increase in cognitive workload while driving. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the speech-to-text tasks required three to five times the cognitive workload as the single task of driving a vehicle without a secondary task.

While the AAA study suggests that hands-free technology has a high workload rating for cognitive distraction, and, therefore, may contribute to distracted driving, as technology improves and more research is done on how using the hands-free or voice command technology affects driving, it is entirely possible that the answer to this question will change. If you would like to read the cognitive distraction study by AAA, click on the link below: https://www.aaafoundation.org/measuring-cognitive-distractions

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Additional Sources: Lydia Mulvany, Voice technology rated as risky, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 13, 2013.David L. Strayer, Joel M. Cooper, Jonna Turrill, et al., Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, June 2013 at 29. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2016. Traffic Safety Facts Research Note.