Most adults have the misconception that distracted driving is a young person’s problem. It makes sense since most young drivers are reliant on technology for communication, navigation and other tasks. However, a recent report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah dispelled that myth.
According to the study, drivers, from the ages of 55 to 75, took their attention off the road longer than their younger counterparts. It shows a different perspective of what distracted driving looks like and what we should watch out for on the streets. Luckily, there are ways to help mature drivers keep their eyes on the road.
The report’s authors suggested the in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) are to blame, not the older drivers, due to the complexity of the systems in newer cars. Luckily, the best way to avoid systems is education. All drivers need to take time to familiarize themselves with the systems before hitting the road.
Speaking of what to do before hitting the road, the best advice the report recommends is preparing drivers before leaving the house. Whether it means creating a playlist or retrieving directions for a long drive, people need to think ahead to avoid distractions later.
Most distracted drivers tend to use their phone to change music, locate a specific place or text. It’s crucial to plan and avoid touching your phone while driving – no matter how old you are. Preparation also allows drivers to get to know their IVIS before an emergency arises.
The study only reaffirms that any driver can get distracted behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter who or what age you are. It only matters that you stay focus and react quickly in the case of a car accident.