Distracted Driving – Stereos, GPS, and Other Electronics

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,503
    Dr. Bill Van Tassel, manager of AAA Driver Training, discusses common distractions posed by vehicle and audio controls and other devices, like navigation systems.

    Dr. Bill Van Tassel: Hello! I am Dr. Bill Van Tassel, Manager of Driver Training Programs with AAA; here to discuss how to avoid distracted driving. In this video, I am going to cover how to avoid some of the more common and seemingly benign sources of distraction. The manipulation of vehicle controls, and other devices like GPS and Audio Systems. These systems can be a significant distraction while driving.

    What seems on the surface to be simple task might be greatly complicated when trying to operate a vehicle at the same time. Not only do you have difficulty performing a seemingly easy adjustment but doing so makes it more difficult to perform the complex task of driving.

    There are a number of commonsense ways to avoid running into this problem when the car is in motion. First, pre-program your favorite radio stations for easy access. Second, load CDs or manipulate MP3 players before your trip or only when safely stopped.

    Third, keep your stereo at a volume low enough so you can hear things outside your vehicle. If it is turned up too loud, you may not be able to hear a siren, a horn honking, screeching of tires or other things that would lead you to respond to an emergency or other hazard. Fourth, don't watch DVDs or attempt to operate an onboard DVD player while driving. Let a passenger manage that system.

    Fifth, program your destinations before starting your trip. If adjustments need to be made, pull off the road and reprogram the unit only when the car is safely stopped and in park. Finally, presets your climate control and make any other adjustments you need to before the trip begins.

    Many of these tips may seem so commonsensical or as to be obvious, but you maybe surprised that how many people drive away before making sure their cars are ready to drive. In the next video, Justin McNaull of AAA Public Affairs will adjust distractions related to passengers in the car.