Distraction involves a diversion of attention from driving, because the driver is temporarily focusing on an object, person, task, or event not related to driving, which reduces the driver’s awareness, decision-making, and/or performance, leading to an increased risk of corrective actions, near-crashes, or crashes.* * International Conference on Distracted Driving (April 2006). Summary of Proceedings and Recommendations. Toronto, Canada, 2-5 October 2005 (page 2).
Types of Distractions There are three main types of distraction: Visual — taking your eyes off the road; Manual — taking your hands off the wheel Cognitive — taking your mind off what you are doing.* * National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2008). Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving. Based on the 2008 National Occupant Protection Use Survey [online]. Retrieved 12 June 2011: http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/#what. http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/#what
Teaching/Learning strategies for implementing distracted driving into the Driver Education Curriculum Get students directly involved with the issues of technology and distracted driving. Do not focus just upon statistics and data. Try an approach like Measuring Your Media.
Warm-up Begin by brainstorming with students what they remember about their lives in 2005. To get their ideas flowing, ask students what grade they were in and/or how old they were, what they did for fun and what their favorite activities and prized possessions were. When the conversation lands on technology and media like the Internet, video games and cell phone use, tell them that a new study has revealed how media use as a whole has changed since 2005 among kids aged 8 to 18. Give them five minutes to write in their journals about what these changes might be.
Measuring your Media When they are finished, distribute copies of the Measuring Your Media* survey (PDF) for them to complete. As they share their answers, tabulate them and create a bar graph on the board or chart paper. Or, use software to create graphs or charts depicting their collective media product use in 2005 and 2011 and the time spent using media in 2005 and 2011.Measuring Your Mediasoftware to create graphs or charts * The New York Times (2010).
Driver Education Teacher Preparation Inclusion Programs on Distracted Driving Topics From Wisconsin - A newly certified or first-time licensed Driver and Traffic Safety Education teacher: Is able to provide learning experiences that address the need for, and importance of: proper passenger restraint usage; not riding with someone who has been drinking; sober driving; and properly dealing with items that distract attention to the driving task. On 20 April 2011, Southwest Minnesota State University conducted a Arrive Alive program where they use a high-tech simulator, impact video, and a number of other resources to educate students about the dangers of texting while driving. The simulator allowed students to experience in a controlled environment the potential consequences of distracted driving.
Driver Education Teacher Preparation Inclusion Programs on Distracted Driving Topics In Illinois, some of the things that Universities do in regards to driver education teacher preparation is introduce the topic in our driving task analysis, driver education classroom teaching, and the driving simulation and driving range parts of their driver education laboratory courses. For example in the driving simulators, we have the future driver education text messages while they are driving to the video Crash Avoidance II. This experience gives then an opportunity to see how their perception time and reaction time is slowed. In the driving task analysis course, we have an activity where the future driver education teachers try to catch a rule which is dropped vertically with and without a cellphone. Hands-on Exercise: Card Sorting and Distraction activity is used by some of the Universities to teach future teachers about distracted driving.
Hands-on Exercise: Card Sorting and Distraction (Whether the answers are correct or not is not relevant- the addition task is to provide a distracter). 5. Share the new elapsed time with the class, explaining that the more tasks the brain is required to perform at one time, the longer it takes to perform any single one. So, we can see that even in this simple exercise: The more things we try to do at once, the less effective we can be at any single one Our ability to make decisions is reduced because of the multiple tasks attempted It demonstrates the need to place our primary focus on driving when we’re behind the wheel.
Education activities should follow several guiding principles: Target specific behaviors and audiences; avoid general messages such as “everyone should pay attention while driving”. Use positive messages, perhaps incorporating social norming techniques (“join the majority”). Use social marketing techniques to make biggest impact on most important group. Encourage specific behaviors based on best practices. Be truthful and memorable. Practice what you preach about distracted driving (in other words don’t drive distracted).
If you need further information please contact: Dale O. Ritzel President, IHSCDEA 109 Pine Lane Murphysboro IL 62966-5232 email – email@example.com@siu.edu Professor/Director Emeritus, Southern Illinois University