Drivers: Don't be Driven to Distraction!
Drivers are the most important element when it comes to traffic safety, and being a safe driver carries a heavy responsibility. The laws (and suggestions) listed here should be followed at all times.
Don’t Talk or Text on Your Cell Phone
Cell phone use is the single most distracting activity for drivers of all ages. Driving while talking on a cell phone is illegal, and just as dangerous as drunk driving. The Mythbusters have produced a series of videos to prove this. We all know not to drink and drive—show the same good judgment and restraint when it comes to talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. Not only is driving while talking/texting on a cell phone dangerous, it is also illegal. If you are caught texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, you will be cited. The first offense will cost you a minimum of $130.
Avoid Playing With Your Car’s Gadgets
Many new cars have highly technical accessories. Although useful, these accessories are also a primary source of distraction for drivers and the use of them should be avoided while operating a vehicle. GPS devices in particular can be time-consuming and complicated, forcing your attention away from the road. If you can’t live without a GPS, purchase a voice-activated unit.
Groom at Home, Not on the Road
Although this makes common sense, not everyone thinks so. Don’t apply makeup, shave, or comb your hair while driving. Allow enough time for personal grooming prior to leaving your home. Not only will you be a safer driver, but you will look better. (Car mirrors are just not adequate for looking your best!)
Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again at Intersections
Many drivers make the mistake of focusing only on oncoming traffic when waiting to make a turn. Remember: pedestrians may approach an intersection while you are only paying attention to other vehicles. Always look left to ensure you are making a safe turn. Then, look right to make sure there are no pedestrians crossing in front of you. Finally, look left again to make sure the road is still clear. Only after you’ve looked left, right, and left again, is it safe to make a turn.
Don’t Drink or Eat While Driving
Although you may not have considered this, eating and drinking while driving are distracting and dangerous. You may also not be aware that Glendale Police can (and will) pull you over and cite you if you are observed eating or drinking while driving.
Keep Music at a Reasonable Level
Listening to music in a car is enjoyable if the volume is kept at a reasonable level, allowing your full attention on the road. Your car is a tool to get you from one place to another; it’s not a concert hall. Keep the volume down and sing along, just make sure you are safe while doing so. In regards to music, more people are choosing to wear headphones while driving. Wearing headphones in both ears while driving is against the law in California and you will be cited for distracted driving if you are observed doing this. Keeping the volume at a reasonable level will make you a safer driver, and will also help firefighters and police officers who rely on driver cooperation to quickly reach those in need. Loud music can mask the sound of approaching sirens!
Mythbusters Find Out Which is More Dangerous: Distracted Driving vs. Drunk Driving
The Mythbusters tackle the issue of distracted driving, and the results just might surprise you. Have a look at the three part series to get a greater appreciation for the dangers of distracted driving.
- Drunk vs Distracted Driving - Part 1
- Drunk vs Distracted Driving - Part 2
- Drunk vs Distracted Driving - Part 3
Graphic Video Warning Against Texting and Driving
The United Kingdom released a graphic video regarding the dangers of texting while driving, with a strong focus towards teenagers.
Texting While Driving Documentary
Excellent documentary produced by AT&T, who is partnering with the City of Glendale, regarding distracted driving.