Optimal recognizes “Distracted Driving Awareness”
April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and we are kicking off our campaign to educate all Optimal employees of the dangers associated with distracted driving. Each and every person employed by Optimal, along with their families, are extremely important to the success of this organization. Please take a few moments to pass along this very important information to your families, friends, and all Optimal personnel that are not able to receive email. According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of workplace fatalities, with numbers far exceeding those related to assaults, incidents involving equipment, and falls. The cost of these incidents are devastating, both in personal and monetary loss. Nearly 100 people die every day due to injuries sustained in vehicle accidents. Distracted driving is a common contributing factor in these accidents. Most of you are familiar with the dangers of texting and driving, but distracted driving covers many more areas than texting. Any activity that may require attention for another task besides driving, such as talking on the phone, eating and drinking, changing a CD, reading emails, social media, etc. can be categorized as distracted driving. We are all guilty of one or more of these activities. We all believe we can multi-task, but studies have shown that although the brain can quickly toggle between tasks, it has a hard time doing two things at one time. When simply listening to someone talk on the phone, the activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to 1/3. This causes our field of view to narrow which means we can miss seeing up to 50% of our surroundings. Take a few minutes to consider these facts: A vehicle traveling 40 miles per hour (much slower than we typically drive in most settings) moves approximately 60 feet per second. At 70 miles per hour (still slower than most drive on the interstate) a vehicle will travel approximately 105 feet per second. What does this mean? In the one second that it took you to look down at your phone to dial it, to answer the phone, or to grab the snack or food sitting in the seat next to you, you traveled 105 feet per second. For all you football fans, you traveled 35 yards in one second. Studies vary on reaction times, but utilizing standard formulas for a typical driver who isn’t sleepy, distracted or impaired, it will take 490 feet to stop a standard passenger vehicle from the time the driver decides he or she needs to stop until movement has ceased. That is 163 yards– nearly two football fields. We can keep going with the figures, but consider the fact that these formulas are all based on average vehicles with perfectly functioning braking systems. When you add a large load or a trailer, your braking capacity is significantly diminished. The braking capacity of large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers can be reduced by up to 25%. 2 Safe vehicle operation is a crucial part of any business. The safety and well-being of our employees and their families is extremely important. Remaining focused on driving is crucial to accident prevention. Please take the time to review these issues with employees, family members, and friends.