Distracted Driving: The ‘Multitasking’ Myth

We’ve all been there: Waiting at a traffic light that just turned green, unable to make a move because the driver of the car in front of us was busy texting and hadn’t noticed the green light.

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As mobile phones become increasingly indispensable, and as car dashboards become increasingly interactive, it’s harder and harder for drivers to pay attention to the road.

But pay attention we must: Multitasking doesn’t work in the driver’s seat. Despite the advanced safety features found in modern cars, more people are dying on the roads. Motor vehicle fatalities climbed 6% in 2016 and stayed roughly the same in 2017 at 40,100 deaths.

Traffic accidents are also the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities in America, including residential construction jobs. With the automobile fatality trends increasing, it’s important to understand the dangers of distracted driving and how to safely commute to and from work — and from jobsite to jobsite — each day.

As part of its #safety365 campaign and with the support of Builders Mutual Insurance, NAHB created a series of video toolbox talks to help home builders talk to their employees and their subs about safety on the jobsite. This month, we’re highlighting the safe driving videos, available in both English and Spanish, that builders can download to use as part of their larger safety programs.

The National Safety Council also has suggested social media posts, downloadable materials like these posters, and other resources to heighten awareness of safe driving, including a Safe Driving Kit tailored for employers who want to keep their workers safe.

The council also partnered with the University of Iowa Public Policy Center to produce MyCarDoesWhat.org, a website that helps drivers understand the safety features in their cars.

To learn more about NAHB’s safety resources, contact Rob Matuga or look around at nahb.org/safety.

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  1. Jon Kessler says:

    Part of the problem is the new technology. I bought a new car two weeks ago and absolutely HATE IT. I have taken it back to the dealer 4 times to bring up the compass, stop turning on my seat heater, stop over riding my cell phone, and stop putting the air conditioning on the floor when I select auto. They still haven’t figured out how to stop it from doing that.
    I’m already tired of having to find the right screen (while driving) to change anything on the car. I just want to reach over and grab a knob. I told the salesman “I don’t want to interface with this car. I just want to drive it.”

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