Distracted Driving: We All Do It

SumneytownMontgomery Township Police Officer Dave Dunlap, a Highway Safety Unit veteran, says distracted driving is unsafe, but everybody does it at one time or another. He says the cell phone is the biggest distraction, and hands-free devices do not eliminate the safety hazard.

“The driver is looking out of the windshield, but he doesn’t see what’s happening in front of him.  He’s thinking about his phone conversation.  All cell phone users, whether they’re hands-free or hand-held, are missing about 50 percent of the information that you’re supposed to be perceiving.  It’s what they call inattention blindness.  You’re not processing your driving environment.”

Officer Dunlap says a driver talking on the phone is four times more likely to cause a crash than someone who is fully attentive to the driving, and one who is texting is eight times more likely to cause a crash.  He appeared Thursday on the monthly Transportation Edition of the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.

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