Distracted driving can be dangerous and even deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to promote safety on the roads.
To help with this effort, The National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This event is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage motorists to minimize potential distractions behind the wheel. Types of Distractions include:
- Visual distractions—These involve motorists taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include reading emails or text messages, focusing on vehicle passengers, looking at maps or navigation systems, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions) while driving.
- Manual distractions—These distractions involve removing hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking or personal grooming such as applying makeup while driving.
- Cognitive distractions—These involve drivers taking their minds off of driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, conversing with vehicle passengers or daydreaming while driving.
Follow these tips for a safe ride:
- Put the phone away. Silence it and store it in a location that is out of reach while driving to lower the temptation to check it.
- Text safely. If you must text and you are alone, pull over to a safe location before texting. If you have a passenger, designate him or her as your “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages.
- Plan your entertainment ahead of time. Make sure you have your music or entertainment set up before you start driving so you don't have to fumble with your device while on the road.
- Familiarize yourself with directions before driving. Make sure your GPS is set up before you start driving and have a passenger help you navigate if necessary.
- Secure passengers. Ensure kids are properly situated in car seats (if needed) with seat belts fastened. Keep pets stationary in the back seat.
- Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel.
- Stay focused. Concentrate your mind on the road by keeping distracting conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead.
Remember, law enforcement is participating too.
During a portion of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, from April 3 through 10, you may see increased law enforcement on the roadways as part of the national paid media campaign U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences – including fines – of texting behind the wheel.
For more information and tips, contact us today.