April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Take Time to Talk About These Four Issues

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

April 12, 2018

April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month may bring cell phones to mind. Those aren’t the only things that cause distracted driving. The CDC estimates that over 1,000 crashes take place every day because the driver is distracted.

Homecare in Upper St. Clair PA: Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Homecare in Upper St. Clair PA: Distracted Driving Awareness Month

All ages can be guilty of distracted driving, but for a senior citizen, slower reaction times can make distractions even riskier. Here are four types of distracted driving that you and your elderly parents need to discuss.
Cell Phones
Here’s a way to bring up the point of using a cell phone in the car. While driving, the brain needs to focus on the vehicle’s controls, traffic to the front and rear of the car, and traffic on side streets. There are also pedestrians, animals, and other potential dangers. With all of those obstacles being tracked by the eyes, the brain is pretty busy processing and being ready to react.
The phone rings and now the brain is forced to multitask. The brain has to focus on driving, everything around the vehicle, and a conversation. It has to process all of this. Could you talk on the phone, keep an eye on your driveway for a guest who is due to arrive, and watch a movie at the same time? When you talk on a cell phone and drive, you’re asking your brain to do that.
Searching for an Object
One of the biggest dangers is searching for something while driving. Looking for an item that fell to the ground or between the seat takes eyes off the road. While one hand feels around for the item, there’s also the issue of only having one hand on the wheel.
Eating and drinking while driving are legal in many areas, but that doesn’t make it safe. Tipping a cup to get the last drop requires eyes to be taken off the road. Greasy hands and fingers can’t hold the wheel correctly. If you drop a food item, you’re also entering the area of searching the floor for whatever was dropped. If a hot beverage spills, the resulting burns will also be a distraction.
Playing With Dashboard Computer
While dashboard computers are supposed to be helpful, they can also be a distraction. Flipping through menus to find the right function or station takes eyes off the road for seconds. That’s all it takes for a crash to happen.
Even if your parent doesn’t get distracted while driving, make sure they’re still capable of driving. If arthritis keeps them from turning to check blind spots, they shouldn’t be driving anymore. Vision changes and problems with depth perception are other reasons for your parents to give up the keys.
Elderly care services include transportation. A caregiver can drive your parent to and from businesses and medical offices. Discuss this and other elderly care services by calling an agency.

If you are considering Homecare in Upper St. Clair, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551