April is Distracted Driving Month
Thousands have died in car crashes involving cell phone use. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.
A seven-year study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed distracted driving among teens can be both dangerous and deadly. And when it comes to adults behind the wheel, accidents caused by distracted driving is a growing trend because teens aren’t the only ones to blame for using their cell phones while driving.
6 out of 10 accidents involve some kind of distraction” reports AAA Foundation.
Keep in mind that distracted driving is not limited to talking and texting on cell phones, though that is the largest culprit. Anything that distracts a driver from the road – eating, grooming, talking to passengers, navigation systems, changing the radio station – can be considered dangerous and distracting. Driving is a skill; it takes a person’s visual, manual and cognitive attention. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes, hands or mind away from the task of driving can slow reaction time, cause drivers to fail to identify hazards in the roadway or cause a driver to miss a stop sign or signal.
We all agree that distracted driving is dangerous, it is a no brainer. However, there is a very real disconnect between this knowledge and driver’s actual behavior. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index found more than 25% of drivers admitted to typing or sending a text or email, even though almost 80% agreed that doing so is a very serious threat to safety, and 84% affirmed it is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.
Some tips to break this hazardous habit and potentially save lives:
- Use an app that let’s people know you are behind the wheel
- Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting the car
- Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver starts to text – offer to make the call or send a text for them
- Pull off the road and park the car if you MUST make a call or text
- Talk to your kids about distracted driving, show them video and create consequences if they text and drive
- Take NSC’s new demo Distracted Driving Online Course to learn more.
Please keep your attention on the road & help put an end to distracted driving today!