Chapter 12 Driver Attitude and Behavior
Attitude Stress, emotions and fatigue will always affect your ability to drive. Every driver needs to possess an attitude that is suited for the safe operation of the motor vehicle when behind the wheel and should avoid getting distracted. Environmental factors, in addition to attitude, will change your driving habits. To be a conscientious driver, you need to be a defensive driver and have a positive attitude toward law enforcement, as it can only benefit you. You also need to be able to anticipate potential traffic hazards, select prudent traffic routes, and be aware of the dangers of night driving. (Driving during daytime hours is typically much safer and less dangerous than driving at night.) Your attitude and behavior can also be adversely affected by a lack of knowledge regarding when to merge with or yield to other drivers. Driving is a privilege that is extended to you by the State upon meeting prescribed criteria. There is no right to drive, and as a license holder you are merely exercising a privilege granted to you. You should make every attempt to keep up to date on changes to Nevada driving laws, construction zones, and other potential road hazards. Always try to keep a positive attitude when behind the wheel. "Like a Loaded Gun" - A motor vehicle weighs many thousands of pounds, and if driven carelessly, it can lead to tragedy. People are lectured about gun safety and made aware of the associated dangers. However, a motor vehicle, a "simple" object that transports you daily, is far more dangerous than a gun. Careless use of a loaded gun often results in a scary reminder regarding gun safety without injury to anyone. Careless use of a vehicle, however, will undoubtedly result in damage or injury at some point. An intoxicated person most probably wouldn't be able to aim the gun, but he or she would be able to start a motor vehicle. This bears repeating: careless use of a vehicle will almost always lead to harmful results. You must be aware of the tremendous responsibility involved with operating a motor vehicle and consider it the same as a dangerous weapon.
Behavior Your attitude and behavior should at all times be consistent with actions necessary to be safe on the road. The following elements are vital to safe driving: General Knowledge - A basic knowledge of safe driving techniques and penalties for violating traffic laws can help you to be a safer driver. Benefits derived from periodic participation in traffic safety programs should not be forgotten, as yearly reminders of techniques to be followed are important. The results of negligent driving range from simple traffic tickets to license suspensions and fatalities. Personal Goals - Your main objectives while driving should be to prevent traffic crashes and to drive as safely as possible. A concern for others and general road awareness are also vital. Time Management - Allow for sufficient drive time during long road trips and be prepared for unforeseen problems. When you know of potential trouble spots or road hazards, allocate additional driving time, if needed. Hurrying and stress due to poor time management are major contributors to traffic crashes. Not leaving yourself ample travel time increases your stress level and detracts from your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Being in a rush while behind the wheel will cause you to take unneeded chances, speed, and become a hazard to all road users. Avoid driving while under severe stress, because a wandering mind cannot focus on the road. Additionally, you should observe all speed limits on streets, highways and freeways and be aware of the basic speed law. The basic speed law is explained in Chapter 3 and states that you should never drive at a speed that is faster than is safe for current road, weather and traffic conditions. In addition, you should neither impede nor block the flow of traffic. "Prima facie" (presumed) speed limits apply even when no visible or noticeable posts are around. Despite a lack of time due to any number of circumstances, traffic laws must always be followed. Anticipation - Whenever you get behind the wheel, it is important to drive carefully and attentively. To drive safely, you must be able to anticipate sudden changes, possible emergencies, and high-risk areas. High-risk areas to drive near include schools, playgrounds, parks, hospitals, housing communities, businesses and municipal centers. Be especially careful to watch for children at play as well as stray animals. Various types of vehicle emergencies should also be considered, and corrective measures visualized. A cushion of safety should also be allowed, with proper vehicle spacing, anticipation of road hazards, and avoidance of known congested areas. Learn where alternate exits are on your route in case of an unexpected change or emergency situation. Preparation - Always be prepared for vehicle trouble. A vehicle should be properly equipped with your cell phone and charger, road flares, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, fuses, a spare tire, extra oil, paper and pencil, and in case of an collision, a cell phone that takes pictures or a camera to document the scene. Preparation is often the only assistance you will ever need. Awareness of Traffic Conditions - Always be aware of traffic conditions and make informed choices about which roads to use. Decisions to drive on side streets versus through streets, one-way versus two-way streets, or certain unsafe roads can lead to or prevent traffic crashes. A safe driver has a general awareness of which roadways are the safest to travel upon, and makes decisions with that knowledge in mind. Body and Head Positioning While Driving - To be safe on the road, you need to be properly positioned in the driver seat, sitting up straight with both hands on the steering wheel. You should have clear visibility over the steering wheel. The roadway must be visible without obstruction, and this relies on the position of your head and body in the vehicle. You must be buckled in the driver's seat, with your eyes able to focus on all aspects of the road ahead.
Emotions, Stress, and Fatigue Stress caused by time constraints often results in traffic collisions, as do risky maneuvers taken to "make up" for lost time. Your actions behind the wheel are usually consistent with your behavior in daily life outside the vehicle. For example, an angry person will often drive in an aggressive manner, while someone who is rested and calm will normally drive in a way that is consistent with those feelings. Emotions we contend with and how we feel physically have a direct impact on the way in which we operate a vehicle. These emotional and physical factors can lead to unsafe driving and collisions. The following are emotions and physical factors that affect driving and the suggested ways to cope with each of them. Addressing these factors before they become problems on the road will help prevent collisions. Anger - An angry driver is an unsafe driver. Anger causes one to take chances, speed, and drive without control. Anger needs to be contained prior to driving, with an understanding that total focus is critical behind the wheel. A level head is vital to driving. Sleepiness - Drowsiness impairs your reaction time, judgment and vision. It is essential to get adequate sleep and to recognize signs of drowsiness before operating a motor vehicle. If you feel tired, it is always best to pull off the road and get some sleep before you continue driving. When you are tired, you are less alert and your chances of a crash increase, especially when driving late at night. If you are tired, the only cure is to remove yourself and your vehicle from the road and get the much needed sleep. When you drive while tired, you are a danger to yourself and all others on the road.
Sleep Deprivation Effects Found To Be the Same as Being Drunk Sleepiness impairs drivers by causing slowed reaction time, diminished vision, judgment lapses, and information processing delays. Studies show that being awake for more than 20 hours results in impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%, the legal limit in all states. In addition, you may fall into a 3-to-4 second micro sleep without even realizing it.71 Each year, an estimated 100,000 police-reported crashes involve driver fatigue, causing about 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. However, these figures tell only part of the story because drowsy driving is underreported as a cause of crashes.72 Daydreaming - It is important to keep your mind focused on the task of driving while you are behind the wheel. If your mind wanders and your eyes are not focused on the road, you may not see hazards and have enough time to react. Physical Limitations - Driving is truly a physical activity, and like with any other activity, your body is limited in what it can do. As a result, you must assess your own physical limitations prior to operating a motor vehicle. For example, being unable to turn your head to see behind you or having trouble steering may contribute to a collision. To compensate for mobility limitations, you can drive only vehicles with power brakes, steering and windows, or you can install large side mirrors and/or a panoramic mirror on your vehicle. Vision - You need good vision to drive safely. You must see well enough to spot trouble on the road, adjust to the speed of traffic, and read road signs. You also need to see peripherally to spot cars coming up beside you while you are looking at the road ahead. In addition, good distance judgment is important because you must know how far your vehicle is from other cars. It is also important to be able to see well in dim light or at night and not have too much trouble with the glare of headlights. Although a vision test is required to receive a driver's license, the time between renewal exams is lengthy, and eyesight deterioration can occur during that time. For safe driving, it is best to have your eyes checked every one to two years. You may find out you have poor peripheral vision or poor distance judgment only when you have your eyes checked by a healthcare professional. If you have diminished vision, follow these guidelines: Wear your glasses or corrective lenses at all times when driving. Do not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses when driving at night. Turn your head completely to look behind and next to your vehicle. Recheck your blind spots before making a move. Do not look directly at bright lights because they may temporarily blind you. Keep your windshield and windows clean, inside and out. Illness and Medication - Some conditions and medications may cause drowsiness or dizziness and they can affect your driving. It is not safe to drive if you are affected by medications taken for an illness. Even over-the-counter medications can make you drowsy and affect your driving skills. It is important to follow these rules: Under no circumstances, unless directed by a physician, should you mix medications. Never mix alcohol with your medications. Keep in mind that drowsiness caused by illness or medications directly alters decision-making and the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Recognizing Emotional and Physical Factors - Fighting fatigue while driving is never advisable. Feeling irritated, upset or shaken alters your judgment when behind the wheel. An angry driver is an aggressive, offensive driver, and as a result, a dangerous driver. Stress related to personal or work life interferes with safe driving and has a negative effect on driving ability. You must evaluate your state of mind before attempting the operation of a motor vehicle and avoid driving when heightened stress, anger, emotions or fatigue are present. Limiting driving activities at these times can help decrease the potential for collisions, injuries, and even fatalities. Focus - The safe operation of a motor vehicle requires a person to be focused while behind the wheel, undisturbed by thoughts of aggravation and distress. Numerous studies, such as the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, have shown that a driver with a wandering mind caused by any one of the aforementioned effects has a decreased awareness of the road, a slower reaction time, and an overall lack of safe driving habits.73 This driver is more likely to make unsafe lane changes, speed, and take chances on the road. The ability to anticipate and determine upcoming hazards and conditions is also adversely effected. Collision Potential - An emotionally distressed or fatigued driver is more likely to be involved in a traffic collision than is someone who is rested and clear-headed. A tired or disturbed driver or one with a cluttered mind has a decreased ability to avoid a hazard on the road. When driving, do not focus on distractions (such as your cell phone, music controls, or conversations with passengers) and never drive when drowsy or tired. Remember to concentrate on the road, not on other matters. Driver's Attitude toward State Driving Laws - Motor vehicle operators often look upon traffic laws with disdain. People stress the negative aspects of laws rather than the positive. Traffic laws are in place to save lives. Without laws, anarchy would reign supreme, and driving would be the least of our troubles. Drivers, on average, violate traffic laws over 400 times before they are actually cited. The occasional citation that a driver receives encourages participation in a traffic safety program and usually reminds the driver that safer driving habits are needed. Aggressive Driving and Road Rage - Aggressive driving behavior, including "road rage," is a rapidly increasing problem affecting America's drivers. This behavior is sometimes provoked by the actions of drivers when they tailgate, cut off others on the road, or use rude hand gestures. In most cases, however, road rage stems from the preexisting attitude or mood of the driver prior to getting behind the wheel. People often get into a vehicle when they are stressed or angry, and then they take out their problems on others with aggressive driving behavior. They ignore the law, become discourteous, and disregard others, often causing collisions or even fatalities. The preferred and suggested option for those dealing with a driver exhibiting road rage is to avoid the problem situation altogether and leave the scene as quickly as possible. Do not allow another's anger and ignorance to affect you. The safest thing is to use your good sense and protect your life. Many road rage killings result from weapons, such as guns or even vehicles, being used against others on the road!
Nevada's Aggressive Driving Law In Nevada, aggressive driving is a criminal offense. You are considered to have committed this crime if, during any single, continuous period of driving within the course of one mile, you do each of the following: 1) Commit at least one act of speeding, either in violation of the basic speed law or in a school or work zone. 2) Commit two or more moving violations such as the following (or one more than once): a. b. c. d. e.
Failing to obey a traffic sign, signal or other official traffic control. Overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right by driving off the paved portion of the road (for example, using the shoulder). Driving or changing lanes improperly or unsafely on a multiple-lane road with marked lanes. Following another vehicle too closely, or tailgating. Failing to yield the right-of-way when required.
3) Create an immediate hazard to another vehicle or person. Aggressive driving is a misdemeanor which may, upon conviction, result in either a fine or both a fine and a jail sentence. A conviction or even prosecution need not be obtained for the acts above, only for the act of aggressive driving itself. Below are some penalties to expect for aggressive driving: First conviction Fine of $250 to $1,000 and possibly a jail sentence of up to 6 months. Attendance of a traffic safety course at the offender's own expense. Possible license revocation for up to 30 days. Second conviction Fine of $1,000 to $1,500 and possibly a jail sentence of up to 6 months. License revocation for one year (if it is a second offense within two years). Third or subsequent conviction Fine of $1,500 to $2,000 and possibly a jail sentence of up to 6 months. License revocation for one year (if it is a third or subsequent offense within two years). The above applies only to incidents that do not result in injury or death. If injury or death results, you may be charged under the reckless driving law.
Common Driver Irritants Tailgating to pressure a driver to go faster or get out of the way. Flashing lights in order to signal a driver to move to another lane. Obscene gesturing. Changing lanes without signaling. Cutting off a driver. Blasting the horn. Frequently changing lanes by weaving back and forth. Driving in the passing or left lane at slower speeds, making it impossible for others to pass. Driving with the high beams on behind another vehicle or toward oncoming traffic. Slowing down after passing someone. Not making a right turn when in the right turn lane. Not reacting when the red light turns green.
Aggressive Driving Statistics Below are some facts about aggressive driving: Many common driver behaviors qualify as aggressive driving. Examples include speeding, tailgating, frequent lane changing, and driving slowly in the passing lane. A single aggressive act by one driver can lead to escalating responses from other drivers.74 A 2006 survey conducted by the car insurer Response Insurance found that 50% of drivers who encounter aggressive drivers respond aggressively.75 Aggressive driving behaviors were a factor in 56% of fatal crashes in the U.S. from 2003 through 2007.76 At least 1,500 people per year are seriously injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes.77 80% of drivers believe aggressive driving is a serious or extremely serious risk that affects their safety.78 The number of drivers on the road has grown faster than road capacity. There are too many drivers crowded on the roads! A study by the American Driver and Traffic Safety Association found that only about 35% of drivers today have taken a driver's education course, compared to approximately 90% in the 1970s. Unsafe driving caused by ignorance often provokes others.79 Don't become a statistic... Don't let road rage get to you!
Avoiding a Dangerous Situation Consider the following to keep from becoming aggressive behind the wheel: Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Leave home in the morning as early as it takes to get to work on time without rushing or acting obnoxious or hostile on the drive there. If this means going to bed earlier at night, do so. A simple half hour may make all the difference to your attitude when you wake up in the morning. Maintain good, safe manners on the road... no matter how others act around you. Be courteous, communicate your intentions to other drivers, and practice good driving habits. Have patience with other drivers and have patience with your passengers. Always use your turn signal when you are going to change lanes. Do not change lanes if it will impede the car in that lane - cutting off another driver is not only rude and unsafe, but it will irritate and provoke that driver. Don't take other drivers' mistakes personally. Honking, swearing, glaring and yelling out of your window won't resolve conflicts. Remember that every driver on the road has his or her own agenda for the day and some drivers are more stressed out than others. Once again, attempt to remain calm and be patient. Listen to soothing music at a reasonable volume while driving. Loud music can be distracting to yourself and other drivers. To avoid a road rage incident, follow these tips: Lock your doors. Avoid drivers that have outward signs of aggressive behavior. Slow down and let them pass you; it is easier to let them go by than to have a confrontation with them. When stopped in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car in front of you. Don't react to another driver's aggressive behavior. Avoid eye contact and don't make any moves that could be seen as confrontational. Don't be tempted to start a fight or carry any sort of weapon. These acts may provoke an assault. Leave enforcement to the police and don't become a vigilante. Let officers of the law do their jobs. They are trained to handle a situation if it gets out of hand. If you become involved in a road rage incident with another driver, you should first calm yourself down and remember that your safety is the primary concern. If an aggressive driver is threatening you, simply leave the scene before anyone gets hurt. If the other person continues to harass you or follows you, go to the nearest police station. Never go to your home!
Officers Working for Public Safety Officers of the law are there to protect and serve the public. Respecting their presence and heeding their commands makes the roads safer for everyone. Below are various types of officers you may encounter: Traffic Officer - Traffic officers are primarily in charge of traffic safety, with their primary focus on maintaining clear and safe roadways. Motorcycle Officer - Motorcycle officers are similar to traffic officers, but they operate on motorcycles. Patrol Officer - Patrol officers are primarily patrolling and providing for public safety. Traffic matters are not their main focus. Undercover Officer - Undercover officers are normally engaged in non-traffic activities, but they can also write tickets and make arrests. The Highway Patrol or State Police Patrol - These officers primarily patrols highways and freeways, with the majority of their citations written for excessive speed violations. Remember: Speeding leads to collisions, which lead to fatalities. Transit Police - Transit Police have full police powers to arrest and ticket, but normally patrol only the areas where the rapid transit agency they are affiliated with operates. College Police - College and university police have full police powers to arrest and ticket, but normally patrol only the college or university campus at which they work. School Police - These officers patrol the school campus and have full power to arrest and ticket drivers within school property. If the local school district superintendent authorizes it, school police may also issue traffic citations on streets that are adjacent to school property. Security Officers and Private Patrols - Security officers or private patrols may only make a citizens’ arrest and are not typically affiliated with any police agency.
Distracted Driving A distraction is any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. While many people consider driving to be a routine activity, driving safely in fact requires your full attention. Traffic and road conditions change constantly and drivers must be prepared to make decisions and react quickly in response. Distracted driving occurs any time you take: Your eyes off the road (visual distraction), Your hands off the steering wheel (manual distraction), or Your mind off driving (cognitive distraction). Driving involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body. You are already multi-tasking when you are driving because your mind and body are working together to drive your vehicle. You should not add another task on top of what you already need to do to drive safely.80 Any distraction while driving increases your risk of crashing and endangers the safety of all road users. Of all distractions, text messaging is by far the most dangerous because it requires a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive attention. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that is equal to driving the length of a whole football field blindfolded.81 In addition, research indicates that the cognitive distraction of having a hands-free phone conversation causes you to miss important visual and audio cues that otherwise would help you avoid a crash.82 As a result, it is not much safer to talk using a headset cell phone than to talk on a handheld cell phone. As long as you are engaged in a conversation, a significant amount of your mental capacity and ability to perceive, process, and react appropriately to road conditions is negatively affected. Examples of distractions include: Using a cell phone or smartphone Using a navigation system Selecting music on a radio, CD player, or MP3 player Reading, including maps Talking to passengers Tending to children Handling a pet Eating and drinking Smoking Grooming Reaching across the vehicle for an item or reaching for a moving object inside the vehicle You can also become distracted when driving if you concentrate on looking at a scene outside the vehicle, such as: A collision by the side of the road A vehicle pulled over by law enforcement An emergency vehicle stopped by the road or traveling to a call A billboard A scenic view An interesting sight, such as an attractive home or unique vehicle Street names and addresses
Distracted Driving Statistics Below are some facts regarding distracted driving: Engaging in visual-manual tasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing, or texting) that are associated with using handheld phones and other portable devices increases the risk of crashing by three times.83 Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity used for driving by 37%.84 Drivers under 20 years old are the most at risk because this age group has the largest proportion of distracted drivers. Of drivers under the age of 20, 25% respond to a text message once or more every time they drive and 20% admit that they have long, multi-message text conversations while driving.85 In 2011 in the U.S., motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver killed 3,331 people, compared to 3,267 in 2010. Crashes involving a distracted driver injured an additional 387,000 people, compared to 416,000 in 2010.86 In 2011 in the U.S., 10% of injury crashes were reported as distraction-related crashes.87 In 2009 in the U.S., approximately 16% of all fatal crashes involved some form of distracted driving. These numbers are believed to be only the tip of the iceberg, as law enforcement often has difficulty determining whether distraction was a factor in a crash.88 In Nevada, there are more than 3,500 distraction-related crashes each year.89 Distracted driving caused more than 50 deaths in a recent five year-period.90
Nevada Cell Phone and Texting Law In Nevada, it is illegal to physically handle a cell phone or other electronic device while driving, including talking on a handheld cell phone, texting, or accessing the internet. However, you may talk using a hands-free headset.91 It is illegal to handle an electronic device to talk, text or do anything else even if you are stopped at a red light. Picking up a GPS device or entering information into the device is also illegal. If playing music on a device requires you to hold the device in your hand at any time while driving, then it is illegal as well.92 This is a primary law meaning drivers can be pulled over and cited based on this law alone. For a first offense in seven years, the fine is $50. The first offense is not treated as a moving violation for DMV and insurance purposes. The fine is $100 for a second offense and $250 for a third or subsequent offense within a seven-year period. For subsequent offenses within the seven-year period, the penalty may include a six-month license suspension. You are subject to doubled fines and increased penalties if the offense occurs in a work zone.93 This law does not apply if you are: Dialing 911 to reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard, or criminal activity Using a voice-operated navigation system affixed to the vehicle or riding in an autonomous vehicle Using a citizen band or other two-way radio that requires a license and has a separate, handheld microphone A law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical professional acting within the scope of your job A utility worker responding to an outage or emergency and using a device provided by the company An amateur radio operator providing communications services during an emergency or disaster94
Other Common Distractions Below are some additional distractions and ways to deal with them. Passengers - Passengers may require your attention and cause you to lose focus on the road. Always avoid disturbing or stressful conversations while driving. Also, speak up and ask passengers to refrain from distracting behavior, such as loud talking, kidding around, or arguments. Teen Drivers and Passengers - Before your teen starts driving, explain the dangers of engaging in distracting activities while driving. Help your teen identify and reduce these distractions. In addition to cell phones, passengers can be especially distracting to teen drivers. Unsupervised teen drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions if teen passengers are present, and this risk increases with the number of teen passengers. Children - Make sure children in the vehicle are comfortable and properly buckled up, and teach them the importance of good behavior in a vehicle. Let them know that driving is an important job and you need to concentrate while you are driving. If you need to care for them, pull over to a safe area and park first. Pets - A loose pet in a moving vehicle is dangerous. It may cause a collision because it may distract you or block your access to controls. Additionally, animals can act like flying missiles in a collision and hurt not only themselves but also vehicle occupants. Never allow your pet to sit in your lap while you are driving. It is best to secure your pet in the back seat with the care you would give any other passenger. Properly restrain it in a pet carrier, portable kennel, or specially designed pet harness. It is especially important to leash your pet if you put it in the back of an open truck. Eating - Eating causes you to remove your hands from the steering wheel. You need to open packages and unwrap food as well as lean over, reach for items, possibly spill, and wipe up. If you are eating in your vehicle while driving, you are focusing on your food and not on your driving. It is best to eat only when you are safely parked. Smoking - Smoking also does not allow you to keep both hands on the steering wheel. While that is not safe, it is the process of smoking that can distracting. When you reach for a cigarette, light it up, put it out, and watch for falling ashes while driving, you lose your focus on the road. Adjusting Controls - Looking down or leaning over to use the controls is unsafe and increases the possibility of a collision. Adjust the mirrors, seats, climate settings, and sound system before you start driving or after parking safely. Preprogram your favorite radio stations for easy access and use your preset buttons when driving. Even a simple task like tuning the radio can be risky, especially in bad weather or heavy traffic. Also be sure to listen to music at a volume level that is not distracting. Navigation - Before you head out, check traffic and plan your route using navigation directions or a map. If you use a navigation device or onboard system, enter or change your destination before driving or after safely pulling over. When following navigation directions while driving, be sure to also stay focused on the road at all times. If you have a passenger, ask him or her to help with directions. Reading or Using the Internet - You can't drive safely while reading, looking at maps, or using the internet or apps on your smartphone or tablet. Working, such as using a laptop, making business calls, or writing notes or reports, is likewise unsafe. Grooming - Never check your hair, put on makeup, or shave while driving. Get ready at home before you leave. If you look away from the road, you may veer off course or not notice a vehicle braking ahead, and a collision may result. Looking for Things - Avoid searching for items in a bag, the center console, the glove compartment, your pockets, or the front or back seat. Never turn around in your seat, reach down or behind your seat, pick up items from the floor, clean the inside of the windows, or perform any other activity that forces you to take your eyes off the road or your hands from the steering wheel. Remember that a distracted driver is a danger to everyone on the road.
Avoiding Distracted Driving It is important to stay focused and pay attention whenever you are driving. Keep your mind on your driving, your eyes on the road, and your hands on the steering wheel! Follow these tips to avoid distracted driving: Make and finish your cell phone calls before you start your vehicle and drive. Let your voicemail pick up the call while you are driving. It is best to find and install an application that blocks phone calls and texting while driving. Check your e-mail or voicemail or access the internet on your portable device before you begin driving. If you need to use your cell phone when driving, safely pull over and park or wait until you reach your destination before doing so. Even if you use a hands-free device, avoid talking when driving conditions are poor, such as in congested traffic or bad weather. Avoid getting distracted by passengers and keep pets restrained in the vehicle. Adjust vehicle controls before you drive or after you have stopped. Also select your music before driving. Plan your route in advance using navigation directions or a map, or safely pull over before looking at a map or entering a destination on your in-vehicle navigation system. It is best not to eat or smoke while driving. Ensure drinks are secured in the vehicle. While driving, do not search for things, perform personal grooming, or multitask in any other way. Safety must always come first. In addition to focusing on the road ahead, frequently check the rearview mirror and the speedometer to get an adequate determination of speed, positioning and road conditions. Remember: be prepared for the unexpected! 71National Sleep Foundation. (November 8, 2010). Drowsy Driving Crashes: Prevalent and Preventable, National Sleep Foundation Releases Safety Guidelines for Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Retrieved from
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-releases-safety-guidelines-drowsy-driving-prevention 72National Sleep Foundation. (2013). Drowsy Driving.org Facts and Stats. Retrieved from http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/ 73Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. (n.d.) 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study. Retrieved from http://secure.hosting.vt.edu/www.apps.vtti.vt.edu/1-pagers/CASR_Hankey/100-Car%20Naturalistic%20Driving%20Study.pdf 74AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (n.d.). Aggressive Driving. Retrieved from http://www.aaafoundation.org/aggressive-driving 75Road and Travel Magazine. (n.d.) Road Rage Statistics - How to Avoid Rage and Stay Safe. Retrieved from http://www.roadandtravel.com/safetyandsecurity/007/road-rage.htm 76AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (April, 2009). Aggressive Driving: Research Update. Retrieved from http://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/AggressiveDrivingResearchUpdate2009.pdf 77Montaldo, Charles. (n.d.) The Growing Problem of Road Rage. About.com Crime/Punishment. Retrieved from http://crime.about.com/od/victims/p/roadrage.htm 78AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (n.d.). Aggressive Driving. Retrieved from http://www.aaafoundation.org/aggressive-driving 79James, Leon and Nahl, Diane. (2007). A New Paradigm for a Global Lifelong Driver Education Curriculum. DrDriving. Retrieved from http://drdriving.org/articles/lifelong-driver-education-article.htm 80California Department of Motor Vehicles. (2011). “Driver Distractions - Don’t Be a Statistic.” Retrieved from http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl28.htm 81National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html 82National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “Frequently Asked Questions.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/faq.html 83National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html 84Nevada Department of Transportation. (2013). Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada Focus on the Road. Retrieved from http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/focus.php 85National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html 86National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html 87National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (n.d.). “What is Distracted Driving? Key Facts and Statistics.” Distraction.gov. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html 88Nevada Department of Transportation. (2013). Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada Focus on the Road. Retrieved from http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/focus.php 89Nevada Department of Transportation. (2013). Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada Focus on the Road. Retrieved from http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/focus.php 90Nevada Department of Transportation. (2013). “Laws.” Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada. Retrieved from http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/laws.php 91Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. (2011). “New Traffic Laws 2011.” Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada. Retrieved from http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/qtlaws11.pdf 92Nevada Department of Transportation. (2013). Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada Focus on the Road. Retrieved from http://www.zerofatalitiesnv.com/focus.php 93Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. (2011). “New Traffic Laws 2011.” Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada. Retrieved from http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/qtlaws11.pdf 94Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. (2011). “New Traffic Laws 2011.” Zero Fatalities Drive Safe Nevada. Retrieved from http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/qtlaws11.pdf