Local News

Training Eyes Can Help Prevent Accidents While On Road

Posted May 27, 2005

— With many schools out and family vacations beginning, Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest, and most dangerous times on our highways. Many accidents can be avoided if drivers learn to train their eyes.

Dr. Ken Mills trains law enforcement officers across the country how avoid accidents. He wrote a book called "Disciplined Attention."

"Being aware of hazards is the beginning of disciplined attention," he said.

Mills said awareness begins with the eyes.

"It's not the steel. It's not the big car. It's not the fact that you're going to have air bags go off. Your eyes are your best crash guard," he said.

Some take for granted that all the cars around them will follow the rules of the road, but research data proves they do not. The number of accidents caused by handheld cell phones was so bad in New York that the state banned their use in vehicles. New Jersey and Washington D.C. followed suit.

Now, some North Carolina lawmakers want to ban cell phones for drivers under age 18. Elderly drivers are also a higher risk on the road.

"Older drivers tend to tunnel. They tend to tunnel fixate. They don't keep their eyes moving," Mills said.

Mills said it does not have to be that way. Drivers of any age can improve their visual skills on the road. It begins with eliminating distractions.

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