The other day I was in a large audience on Clubhouse listening to someone on a crowded stage laughing about not paying attention and running a red light while trying to moderate a Clubhouse Room. When he said this, 3-4 other people unmuted and said, while joking, that they had done similar things while driving and using the Clubhouse app (rolled through a stop sign, drifted into another lane, almost hit a pedestrian).
Listening to this reminded me about how many people are not aware of what distracted driving is and the real and tragic dangers and consequences of distracted driving. It brought me back to the early days of live streaming on Meerkat and Periscope and the challenges we faced with educating good people who were making bad decisions when it came to the dangers of live streaming while driving.
Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, I thought I’d share a bit of context about the growing problem of distracted driving not only on Clubhouse, but across social media. If you haven’t already done so, please watch the above video. Even better, share it with your family and friends.
Did you know that 4,000-6,000 people are killed each year by distracted driving?
Did you know that 400,000-600,000 people are injured each year by distracted drivers? To put this number into perspective, only about 290,000 are injured by drunk drivers.
Did you know that at any given daylight second in America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while distracted driving? (Again, that’s every single second!)
Did you know that 3-5 seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road and your mind is distracted when looking at your smartphone while driving? At 55mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING AND WHY IS IT A PROBLEM ON CLUBHOUSE?
Good question. Here’s the answer.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. There are three main types of distractions:
Visual: taking your eyes off the road (looking at your phone);
Manual: taking your hands off the wheel (tapping the “unmute” button, messaging people and inviting raised hands to the stage);
Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving (listening to and participating in conversations on Clubhouse).
Using your smartphone while on the Clubhouse app, while driving, combines all three of these dangers. It’s careless, reckless and dangerous.
Did you know that hands-free driving (this includes bluetooth and phone mounts) doesn’t eliminate these distractions. Using a bluetooth or other hands free device DOES NOT increase your safety, or the safety of others around you.
Why? Because your mind is still on the conversation. You’re not thinking about the act of driving. In fact, even after using your bluetooth or hands free device, you continue to be distracted from the act of driving up to another 27 seconds after use.
As Professor David Strayer, states in the following article, “It’s kind of comparable to trying to balance your checkbook as you’re driving down the road. No one would do that.”
I invite you to read, “Study: Hands-free devices distract drivers for 27 seconds after use.”
Please help lead our Clubhouse communities by example. When it comes to moderating Clubhouse rooms or jumping up on stage and contributing to the conversation while driving, let’s make sure everyone is aware of how unsafe it is to use Clubhouse while driving.
What I’ll be doing is respectfully reminding anyone who’s on stage with me to please drop down to the audience until it’s safe to join the conversation. I’ll also take the opportunity to share a few of the distracted driving stats and the link to this post.
I believe that education and leading example is what will change this reckless and dangerous behavior. Over the last 9 years, I’ve watched the friends and social media influencers stop live streaming while driving and I know this can happen in our Clubhouse community too.
I’m convinced that when the right people step up on the Clubhouse platform and lead by example, awareness levels will rise and the the amount of distracted driving Clubhouse users will decrease.
We’ll be talking about this more on Monday, March 22nd at 1 PM PDT (4 PM ET). Please click here to join us in the Room.
Thanks everyone. Let’s all enjoy Clubhouse but do so in a safe and considerate way. If you think this post adds value, please share with your Clubhouse family and friends.
Related Posts and Resources
End Distracted Driving EndDD.org
#clubhouse #stopdd #enddd #itcanwait