Everyone knows the dangers of texting while driving, but now there’s another equally dangerous trend – vlogging while driving.
What is vlogging?
A vlog is a blog in video form. Vlogging involves everyone talking into a camera mounted on their dashboard to create videos. While the behavior may seem safe because it’s hands-free, an internationally recognized expert on distracted driving says it’s anything but.
– The research is completely finished. Hands-free is not safe, says Paul Atchley, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, who has studied distracted driving for more than 20 years. “It̵7;s your brain that’s the problem, not touching a phone. And we know when your brain is engaged by a phone call — even a hands-free call — increases the risk of a car accident.”
Erie Insurance showed Atchley several videos that got buzz online – they show influencers looking back and forth between their camera and the road.
The answer, Atchley says, is that multitasking is a myth. People can switch back and forth between tasks, but can really only do one thing at a time. And vlogging behind the wheel is extra dangerous because it involves all kinds of distractions.
“As an auto insurer that wants everyone on the road to be safe, Erie Insurance stays on top of the latest driving trends,” said Jon Bloom, senior vice president, personal products at Erie Insurance. “This one is particularly concerning because the people doing it probably think it’s safe because it’s hands-free.”
Different types of distractions
- Manual: Manual distraction takes hands off the wheel.
- Visual: Visual is looking at the camera instead of the road.
- Cognitive: Cognitive distraction is “performing” for the camera instead of focusing on driving.
Read more about the dangers of vlogging while driving in the video below.
There are no specific laws against talking to a dashboard-mounted camera while driving, but 24 states and Washington, DC prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and 36 states and Washington, DC prohibit all cell phone use by novices or teenagers. .
Avoid being distracted
Here are some tips from Atchley to avoid distracted driving and help you stay safe on the road:
- Put your phone in safe driving mode to reduce distractions. For example, turn off notifications and set GPS before you head out to get turn-by-turn directions so you don’t have to look down at your phone.
- Listen to a radio show or a podcast. It helps you stay alert but your mind will automatically tune it out when needed.
- Consider carpooling with another experienced driver to share driving duties and have a second set of eyes that can spot things you might otherwise miss. Conversations in a vehicle, not on a phone call, will ebb and flow with traffic demands.
- Play verbal road games like “I Spy” to keep your mind focused on the road and defensive driving.
Protect yourself and your car from distracted driving
Being safe on the road is important. It is also important to have the right insurance coverage on your vehicle. Our independent Erie Insurance agents promise to be there to help you get insurance you can be comfortable with – insurance that fits your needs and your budget. Contact us today.
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