For residents of Vista, California who regularly commute to work in San Diego County or have teen drivers on the road, it is extremely important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. As a fact sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) explains, April is distracted driving awareness month. It is always a good idea to think about how distracted driving can impact our lives and to discuss safe driving and car accident prevention tips with your teen drivers. What else should you know about distracted driving and the risks of a crash in Southern California?
Using Technology to Prevent Distracted Driving in Vista
We often link technology with the increased risks of distracted driving. For instance, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can greatly increase the risk of a serious motor vehicle crash. However, sometimes technology can actually help when it comes to distracted driving prevention.
For example, the NSC has an online distracted driving course that can “change drivers’ behavior and attitudes about distracted driving.” In addition, organizations can require employees to take an online distracted driving course to “lower liability risks and costs associated with vehicle collisions.”
Learning More About Distracted Driving Courses Online
You might consider an online distracted driving course for drivers in your family, including your teenagers. What do these online distracted driving courses look like? There are two versions: a 90-minute version and a 45-minute version. The shorter course is an abbreviated version of the longer course and typically is recommended as a refresher. The 90-minute course includes the following material:
- Research into distracted driving, including scientific studies about the brain’s reaction to distractions;
- Learning more about why people engage in distracted driving, and some of the more common distracted driving mistakes;
- Risks of distracted driving for everyone on the road, including the driver, the passengers in the distracted driver’s vehicle, and all other cars in the surrounding area;
- Steps being taken at the local and federal levels to address distracted driving; and
- Solutions to prevent distracted driving, including at your home, at work, and in the public more generally.
Apps Can Help to Prevent Distracted Driving
Online driving classes are not the only way to use technology to prevent distracted driving. As an article from Verizon Wireless explains, there are many apps for your smartphone that you can download for yourself or for your teen and are designed to prevent texting while driving. For instance, you can look into some of the following apps that block texting while driving and/or encourage drivers to be safer behind the wheel:
- Driver Safe Mode;
- Drivermode; and
As you may know, California law prohibits any use of handheld phones if you are driving. As a recent article from ABC News clarified, California drivers cannot even hold their phones to use them as GPS devices. In short, drivers in Vista must either use hands-free devices or be prepared to pay the substantial cost of a ticket.
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(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)