Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Daydreaming More Dangerous Than Using Mobile Phones While Driving – Study

Distracted driving is one of the many factors for the occurrence of motor vehicle crashes and their resulting injuries and deaths among drivers, passengers, and other road users in the United States. Aside from driving while being intoxicated, as well as driving recklessly and aggressively, being distracted while driving has always been linked to a lot of fatalities in vehicle crashes in the nation.

In fact, people who died in distraction-affected crashes increased in 2011 by 1.9 percent, from 3,267 in 2010 to 3,331 the next year. However, the number of injuries in the same crashes otherwise decreased by 7 percent, from an estimated 416,000 people in 2010 to approximately 387,000 people the next year.

The use of cell phones while driving, as well as fidgeting on the car stereo and picking up something off the car floor, are some of the common distractions that could lead to an accident on the road. Even daydreaming is considered a distraction while driving; in fact, a study revealed that doing so is even more dangerous than the common distracted driving-related activities.

A Yahoo! Autos article shed some light with regards to the dangers of daydreaming for drivers. According to the article, a study made by the researchers from the Erie Insurance Group found that 1 in 10 were due to using cell phones or doing other activities while driving.

Surprisingly, of the more than 65,000 fatal crashes from 2010 to 2011 analyzed in the study, it was found that about 62 percent of them were daydreaming; five times as many as talking or texting with someone using a cell phone. Said statistics were taken from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As it is, daydreaming is an activity that is already wired in humans. As it is, a driver who is daydreaming may think he or she is totally aware of what is happening, when in fact he or she is not. His conscious mind drifts away from the task at hand, which is driving. Unless he or she focuses back on the wheel and on the road ahead, he or she may unexpectedly get involved in a collision with another motor vehicle or a stationary object.

According to a Los Angeles car crash attorney, it would be better for motorists to reduce incidents of daydreaming, since this cannot be eliminated entirely no matter what people do, including driving. Incidentally, the article even provided drivers some tips on how to reduce the risks of accidents because of daydreaming. These include taking an entirely different route to ease the boredom of going the same ordinary driving route, chewing gum to perk up the senses, and keeping the eyes moving.

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