|Dealing with digital distractions|
Capt. Travis Yates
Distractions while driving are a huge issue for all drivers but for law enforcement in particular there are activities that simply must be done while driving a vehicle. Talking on a radio, looking for suspects, or reading a monitor may all be activities required of an officer sitting behind the wheel of a car.
Distractions not only take our eyes off of the road but our mind as well. The answer to this issue is to implement one- to two-second glances instead of completely taking your eyes off of the road for several seconds. If you have to read a computer terminal and are unable to stop your vehicle, read just a few words and then consciously make yourself stop and look back up at your driving environment after one to two seconds. Once you take that snapshot of the road, then read a few more words and repeat the process until you’ve completed the task. You can do this with just about any activity that is required. Yes, it will take you longer to complete some tasks but your eyes will be on the roadway.
Officer Safety issues are of paramount importance to us. Armed with the knowledge that vehicles have killed officers in higher numbers than have firearms in recent few years, we have brought on a columnist who focuses on law enforcement driver training and safer pursuits.
In 2003, more officers died from crashes while in pursuits than in than any of the last 30 years. To help bring down those numbers, we are proud to introduce PoliceOne columnist, Capt. Travis Yates.
Captain Travis Yates is a Team Leader with the Tulsa Police Precision Driver Training Unit. He is a nationally recognized driving instructor and a certified instructor in tire deflation devices and the pursuit intervention technique. Capt. Yates has a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University. He moderates www.policedriving.com, a website dedicated to law enforcement driving issues.