Driver Safety Training!

At our November Staff meeting we had Kansas State Trooper, Chad Crittenden; speak with our staff regarding Driver Safety Training. The big focus was on distracted driving, especially distractions from technology and electronic devices.

We reviewed some of the driving laws and heard some interesting statistics about distracted driving. Drivers are over 4 times more likely to get into an accident while distracted, like when talking on a phone or to their passengers. Texting while driving increases the chance to cause an accident by 2300%. Drunk driving is frowned upon by the general population, as it should be, causing almost 1/3 of fatal motor vehicle accidents in Kansas.

When it comes to Texting while driving, people seem to have a skewed view and feel like they are safe enough when they do it. The scary thing is that while not everyone is going to have a drink before work, what is the one thing that most everyone has on them at all times…? Cellphone use is widespread and addictive; it only takes a second of distraction to cause irreparable harm when you are driving a 2 ton machine. It takes time to develop a habit and most people don’t even think when their phone rings or vibrates to alert them and automatically pick it up to see why. To change that habit, you must become aware of what you’re doing or put it out of reach when it’s unsafe. It was suggested that you keep your cellphone in your glove box while driving. This helps in a couple of ways, it will keep you from mindlessly using your phone and if you do happen to get in an accident your phone will be safe and easy to locate so you can contact emergency services.

Trooper Chad also shared a demonstration on how well people don’t multi-task. It is much more effective to do one thing at a time well than to try to do multiple things at once and fail. He also discussed how we miss things even though we seem to be looking directly at them. Most people look for cars when they are driving, but they will overlook smaller objects like motorcycles or pedestrians. If you look out for the smaller things, you will not miss the large ones.

Another important topic that was noted was being properly restrained while traveling. Using your seatbelt and making sure children are in the proper safety devices. Using your seatbelt while in a crash can decrease chance of death or significant injury by up to 50%. If you can’t afford the proper child safety seat for your children, there are programs that can help you locate low-cost or no cost options to keep your family safe.

Be aware when you are driving, keep your eyes on the road, don’t use your cellphone, and buckle up.