Westchestergov.com Keeping Safe

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

When it comes to driver distraction, we've come along way from just tuning the car radio. As more drivers spend more time on the road, they want to be productive behind the wheel to maximize their drive time. Today drivers are eating meals on the run, adjusting navigational systems, using personal communication devices, and engaging in a variety of other activities that divert their attention from the driving task. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that driver distraction is responsible for 20 to 30 percent of all traffic crashes.

When you were driving, did you ever?

  • Talk on your cell phone -- or text
  • Tune the radio
  • Eat, drink or smoke
  • Pick something up from the floor or between the seats
  • Read or write
  • Reach for the glove compartment
  • Clean the inside of the windshield
  • Argue with another passenger
  • Comb or brush your hair
  • Break up fights between your kids
  • Put on make up
  • Put on contact lenses or use eye drops
  • Shave
  • File, clip or polish your nails?
    • Stay focused and pay attention!
      • Limit interaction with passengers
      • Avoid talking while driving.
      • Avoid taking your eyes off the road.
      • Keep both hands on the wheel.
    • Avoid driver fatigue.
      • Stay focused on the road.  
      • Don't daydream.
      • Don't drive if you are tired.
      • Share the driving responsibilities on long trips.
    • Don't drive when angry or upset.
      • Emotions can interfere with safe driving.
      • Wait until you have cooled down or resolved problems to drive.
    • Avoid "gawking" or "rubbernecking" or slowing down to look at a crash or other activity.
    • If you need to use your cell phone while driving:
      • Pull off the road and stop in a safe place before using your phone.
  • If you answered yes to any of the above, you are driving while distracted and are at risk of an accident. Drivers inadvertently sometimes focus their attention away from the roadway, thus putting themselves, their passengers and those in vehicles around them in jeopardy.

    How to avoid being distracted

  • Stay focused and pay attention
    • Limit interaction with passengers
    • Avoid talking while driving
    • Avoid taking your eyes off the road
    • Keep both hands on the wheel
  • Avoid driver fatigue
    • Stay focused on the road
    • Don't daydream.
    • Don't drive if you are tired
    • Share the driving responsibilities on long trips.
  • Don't drive when angry or upset
    • Emotions can interfere with safe driving.
    • Wait until you have cooled down or resolved problems to drive.
  • Avoid "gawking," or slowing down to look at a crash or other activity.
  • If you need to use your cell phone while driving
    • Pull off the road and stop in a safe place before using your phone to either call or text.