The typical driver in today’s day and age is confronted by a whole slew of distractions, many of which didn’t even exist a decade or two ago. In the car itself, songs need to be chosen and skipped on the mp3 player, texts need to be answered or consciously ignored, the gps needs to be checked, phone calls demand answering, Instagram begs for an update, and the dvd in the back seat needs to be tuned out. Outside the car, digital billboards beckon with promises of sizzling burgers and exotic vacations while other potentially distracted drivers wiz by, hopefully with their eyes on the road.
Some Things Never Change
In addition to the onslaught of technological distractions, there are others that haven’t changed and just add to the noise level in drivers’ brains. The kids in the back seat, the food waiting to be eaten, and the parking spot that needs to be found when you finally reach your destination. Drivers spend lots of time worrying about parking and for good reason. 30% of traffic on local roads is caused by people just looking for spots. These searchers waste a whopping 47,000 gallons of gas each year as they circle endlessly, trying to find somewhere to park.
Thinking or stressing about where you will park can lead to many more distractions than you think. Just a wandering mind is a dangerous tool of distraction- in fact one study found that 62% of distracted drivers in fatal accidents were simply distracted by their thoughts and worries. Checking parking related apps as you drive can have deadly results – drivers using their phones have been found to be three times more likely to get into a car crash. So if drivers shouldn’t look at their phones to find parking and shouldn’t even let their minds wander and stress about where to park, how can they relax and focus on the road in front of them?
Knowledge is Power
If you knew that when you reached your destination, parking would be waiting for you, how would that effect your drive? A fascinating article in Psychology Today discusses that people often check their phone simply as a means of reducing their anxiety. Eliminate the stress of where to park and drivers may be less likely to check their phones- even for texting, emails, or other non-parking related apps. Imagine if drivers knew that there was data waiting at a parking garage that would give them up to the minute parking data. It would be easier for them to focus on the road, stop worrying, and stop using their phones as a way to alleviate anxiety. Using an accurate parking counter that drivers learn to trust, like the OpenSpace platform, can do a lot more than simply tell drivers where and when to park. It can make the drive itself more enjoyable, less stressful, and safer.
In London, close to 25% of drivers postpone or cancel trips because they are too worried about finding parking spots. Read more here
Did you know?
3,154 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013. Data for 2014 and 2015 is not yet available. Read more distraction stats here.
One way to avoid the perils of distracted driving are with cars that drive themselves. Or is it? Read more here
Parking Logix Peaks
Illinois State University recently chose Parking Logix Open Space to help parkers find spots more efficiently. One less stress for ISU students!