April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Spearheaded by the National Safety Council (NSC), the annual event seeks to reduce accidental injury and death. More than 40,000 people were killed in auto fatalities in 2017, as many as 25, 000 of them were caused by distracted driving, a 6% increase over 2015. Just one second is all it takes to change or end a life. Distracted driving is considered by many to be a public health crisis.
There are three main types of distractions:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly a half-million drivers use cell phones while driving with teens being the largest group. An NHTSA report demonstrated that “sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.
What can you do? Take the Pledge to be an attentive driver. If you are a passenger, discourage the driver from dangerous behaviors. Nearly 60% of drivers say they would stop an activity if asked by a friend or family member while driving.
Do not engage in the following behaviors while driving. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your attention focused on driving.
- Have a phone conversation
- Use social media
- Use voice-to-text features
- Check or send emails
- Take selfies
- Input destinations into GPS
- Eat or drink
Don’t have your last words immortalized in text. #JustDrive