The next time you’re driving, look around at some of the other drivers on the road and see where they’re looking. Spoiler: Not at the road.
We’ve got a challenge for you: The next time you’re in your car, try looking around at some of the other drivers on the road and see where they’re looking. We bet you’ll see more people that are distracted than those that aren’t. This is a growing epidemic that inspired us to create something bold, and that’s exactly what we did. Over the last few years we’ve been working reading and analyzing reports and statistics about distracted driving, with the trend continuing to go up despite an increase in public awareness campaigns and new laws and regulations. Cell phone use while driving is a learned behaviour, and it’s one that can be unlearned. Keep reading to see how.
You know it. I know it. Everyone knows that distracted driving is dangerous (more dangerous than drunk driving, by some reports) – but people aren’t just still doing it, they’re actually doing it more than they were in 2011. More than 3,000 people died in the United States alone in 2013 from distracted driving, so why aren’t people listening to the ads all over Facebook, TV and the radio? Because cell phone messages & notifications are psychological. Your brain gives you a shot of dopamine when you receive text messages, phone calls, Facebook likes, reTweets, reShares or anything else that pops up on your phone.
Psychology Today writes that receiving a phone call or text message sends what’s known as a “Pavlovian Cue”, telling your brain that something is about to happen which sets off our dopamine system and making us feel good about reading that text that just can’t wait. This is why our phones are so addictive, because our brain is literally rewarding us for receiving those notifications. This is also what makes it so hard to not check your phone down while you’re driving.
The rewarding nature of receiving cell phone notifications may feel gratifying at the time, but they have real life costs and impacts that can’t be under stated. 3,000 people dying as a result of distracted driving means millions of lives were affected, from the immediate family and friends to their classmates and colleagues or the first responders, paramedics and nurses that did everything they could to heal the damage.
As companies are beginning to realize that employees make mistakes, despite the most well intentioned distracted driving policies, they’re starting to look for ways to make sure their employees are protected from unnecessary risk and harm caused by distracted driving, and cell phone use in particular.
We’ve developed an interactive presentation about DriveCare and our solution to distracted driving. Watch this and leave your thoughts in the comment section.