Health & Safety

June 19, 2014

Distracted driving, the epidemic

Staff Sgt. Steve Stanley
Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs

The human brain struggles to complete multiple tasks efficiently. Especially if they require a higher degree of focus at the same time, like driving and texting. Therefore, texting while driving can be an extremely dangerous combination.

In 2012 alone, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes according to Distraction.gov.

When people try to multitask, their ability to do each individual task suffers. According to experimental research conducted by Drs. Frank Drews, David Strayer, and Dennis L. Crouch of the University of Utah, cell phone users have been found to be 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than undistracted drivers.

Studies show that motorists using their cell phones while driving function at a comparable rate to drivers who are intoxicated.

Cell phone use is only one type of distraction. All distractions while driving endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.

Others include:

  • Texting (Top of the list for a reason)
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Smoking
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

The controls that the brain uses to organize tasks are divided into two stages.

The first stage is switching focus from one task to another. The second is turning the attention away from the previous task and bringing focus to a new one.

This takes time, which can add up fast, especially when operating a vehicle.

When people think they are multitasking, they are actually just quickly switching their focus. The switch may be hard to notice, but that loss of focus may lead to an event that no-one ever expects to happen.

When operating a vehicle, remember to stay focused, not distracted, and keep your eyes on the road.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>