Distracted Driving

Safety Posters Library

The most important aspect to driving is maintaining attention on operating the vehicle safely.  All behaviors, practices, and procedures should focus on driving rather than completing other tasks inside the vehicle.  The Center for Disease Prevention and Control categorizes distractions into three main categories: visual, manual, and cognitive.  Visual distractions are any activities that take your eyes of the road.  Manual distractions are any that cause drivers to take their hands of the wheel.  Cognitive distractions include anything that takes the mind off of driving.  

Pre-trip Preparation
Prepare all details before driving.  Pre-set directions into any navigation system and adjust settings before.  Familiarize yourself with the route so that there is minimal dependence on a navigation system.  Check weather conditions prior to planning a trip.  Check traffic conditions to see if an alternate route is necessary.  Perform a pre-trip inspection on the vehicle to check fluid levels, tire pressure, functionality of lights, adjust mirrors, and check vehicle brakes.  
Allow for sufficient time for drivers to get from location to location.  Allocate built-in time for drivers to input information or access information they need to continue on their routes. Eliminate time limits that will cause drivers to exercise dangerous behaviors when driving. 

Cell Phones
The cell phone is a major offender of all three distractions described above.  Do not read text messages, emails, or other items while driving.  Do not compose a message, email, etc. when driving.  There is danger in even using hands-free devices as they may serve as a cognitive distraction.  Avoid using your cell phone until you have safely pulled out of traffic and harm’s way.  If necessary keep the cell phone in a location inside the vehicle where it is not easily accessible by the driver. 

Navigation Systems
Enter all necessary information and adjust audio settings before driving away in your vehicle.  If information needs to be inputted, pull over to a safe area and input the new information.  When re-entering into traffic, be sure to check mirrors and blind spots.

Utah State Law
The following are items that cannot be performed while operating a vehicle:

  • Write, send, or read a text message
  • Write, send, or read electronic mail
  • Dial a phone number
  • Access the internet
  • View or record a video
  • Enter data into a handheld wireless communication device

According to law, the following items are permitted when operating the vehicle:

  • Use a handheld device for voice communication
  • View global position or navigation application
  • During a medical emergency
  • When reporting a safety hazard
  • When reporting a crime

Check your specific state for laws regarding texting and driving.

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