Erie Insurance warns against vlogging while driving

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Erie Insurance advises against taking videos while driving in conjunction with national Distracted Driving Awareness Month

ERIE, Pa., March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Everyone knows the dangers of texting while driving, but Erie Insurance raises awareness of a more recent but equally dangerous trend: vlogging while driving. The trend involves popular social media influencers talking to a camera mounted on their dashboard to create videos for their followers. While the behavior may seem safe because it’s hands-free, an internationally recognized distracted driving expert says it’s anything but.

“The research is absolutely clear. Hands-free is not safe,” said Paul AtleyPh.D., professor of psychology at University of South Florida, which has been studying distracted driving for more than 20 years. “It’s your brain that’s the problem, not touching a phone. And we know that when your brain is busy with a phone call – even hands-free – the risk of a car accident increases.”

Erie Insurance showed Atchley several videos going viral online showing influencers looking back and forth between their camera and the road, playing with the camera on their dash and, in one case, almost swerving out of the way. .

“As a car insurer that wants everyone on the road to be safe, Erie Insurance keeps abreast of the latest driving trends. This one is particularly troubling because people who do it likely think it’s is safe because it’s hands-free,” said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. “We contacted Dr Atchley to shed some light on what is going on in the brain that makes this behavior much more dangerous than people realize.”

The answer, says Atchley, is that multitasking is a myth. People can jump between tasks, but really can only do one thing at a time.

Different Types of Distractions

To see how entertaining vlogging while driving, even with a camera mounted, is, it’s important to understand the meaning of the term. A distraction is something unrelated to the main task. If the main task is driving, creating a social media video is a distraction. There are three categories of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive. In the case of video recording while driving, the manual distraction consists of taking the hands off the wheel, the visual looks at the camera instead of the road, and the cognitive distraction “performs” for the camera instead of focusing on the road. conduct.

According to Centers for Disease Control, eight people in the United States are killed each day in crashes involving a distracted driver. The risk is greatest for young adults under the age of 25 who are more likely to die in a car accident than the following three causes of death combined.

“I hope social media influencers who vlog while driving realize that they are influencing a segment of the population that is more likely to die in a car crash than the next three causes of death combined,” Atchley said. . “So not only are they demonstrating bad behavior, but they are demonstrating it to a group of individuals who are already at high risk.”

Atchley encourages influencers to lead by example. “I would ask them to do the right thing. Don’t be part of the problem, be the solution.”

“We realize that the vast majority of social media influencers who vlog while driving are simply trying to communicate with their followers in a positive way and not intentionally doing anything harmful,” Bloom said. “It’s much more likely that they just don’t realize the danger. We hope Dr Atchley’s insights will encourage everyone to think twice and avoid doing anything while driving that increases the risk of ‘accident.”

There are no specific laws prohibiting talking to a dash-mounted camera while driving, but 24 states and DC prohibit cell phone use while driving and 36 states and DC prohibit all cell phone use by novice or teenage drivers.

Here are some tips 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 up GPS before you go for turn-by-turn directions so you don’t have to look at your phone.
  • Listen to a radio show or podcast. It will help keep you alert, but your mind will automatically turn it off when it needs to.
  • Consider carpooling with another experienced driver to share driving duties and get a second pair of eyes that can spot things you might otherwise miss. Conversations in a vehicle, not on a phone call, will fluctuate with traffic demands.
  • Play verbal road games like “I Spy” to keep your mind focused on the road and defensive driving.

Erie Insurance is sharing Atchley’s ideas and other information to prevent distracted driving and has released the information to promote National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which takes place in April.

To see a video and learn more, visit erieinsurance.com/distracted-driving-2022.

About Erie Insurance
According to AM Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvaniais the 12th home insurer, the 13th automobile insurer and the 13th business insurer in United States based on direct written premiums. Founded in 1925, Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company and the 16th largest property and casualty insurer in United States based on the total number of net premium lines written. Rated A+ (superior) by AM Best, ERIE has more than 6 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Colombia. Press releases and more information are available at of ERIE website at www.erieinsurance.com.

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SOURCE Erie Insurance Group

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