The Habits Drivers Become Comfortable With May be Putting Others on the Road In Danger
On Florida's fast-paced roads, one of the last things on the minds of our drivers is safety. People are often in a hurry to commute to work in the morning and beat the afternoon rush hour. By doing so, they may drive faster than the posted speed limit, weave through multiple lanes on the highway, or blow through yellow lights.
What's worse, many drivers are confident in their ability to multitask behind the wheel. They may text and drive, eat, drink, take care of hygiene, or program a GPS.
Driver conditioning explained
For many drivers, these risky habits are done with little or no thought. Some drivers have been doing it for years without ever being in a crash. Other drivers aren't as fortunate.
The National Safety Council (NSC) refers to this comfort level as "driver conditioning." Everyone is impacted by it, whether they realize it or not.
For many adults, driving becomes routine, especially when taking the same route each day. This makes drivers less prepared for the unexpected, like being cut off, traffic suddenly stopping, or another driver running a red light.
According to the NSC, driver conditioning may be a leading factor in many crashes — including a 2002 fatal intersection crash that took the lives of a woman and her mother.
Breaking the habits that we become comfortable with first takes awareness. In order to address this widespread problem, the NSC has proposed three ways awareness of driver conditioning can be raised:
- Required study: When first obtaining our driver's licenses, safe and defensive driving is often top of mind. Over time, we tend to forget about what we learned in driver's education. The NSC proposes required online tests drivers should take every time they renew their licenses.
- Public service announcements (PSA's): The message needs to be heard. Millions of people can be reached through social media, television, and radio. Simply airing or advertising a public service announcement is a good way to remind drivers of the dangers of driver conditioning.
- Early education: Education often starts with our children. Having a program in place to educate children and their parents may be an effective way to address the issue early on.
It may be a while before we see programs like this rolled out but having these measures in place can help drivers pay closer attention to their habits and potentially slash the number of crashes we see each day.
Sadly, until programs like this are implemented, we will continue to see a massive rate of serious and fatal crashes in the greater West Palm Beach area. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash, get an experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorney on your side. Attorney David J. Glatthorn has more than 30 years experience helping injured motorists and their families seek justice.
Contact him online today to learn how he can help you.