It Can Wait – Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and law enforcement around the country have stepped up visibility and monitoring on our roadways as part of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign. Distracted driving is not limited to texting, apps or other internet usage, however – passengers, pets, food and beverages, makeup, music, fatigue, GPS, and other tasks can take our eyes and minds off the road. Whatever it is, it can wait until you are safely off the traveled portion of the road.
Did you know? According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reading a text takes on average 4 seconds, and if we’re driving at 55 mph, we travel the length of a football field with our eyes off the road. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in distraction-related crashes. In 2018, 1 of every 5 people killed by distracted drivers were not in vehicles – they were walking, riding a bike, etc. Sadly, the fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than that for drivers age 20 and over.
The NHTSA has some great tips on reducing instances of distracted driving:
- Pull over and park your car in a safe location to send and read texts, use apps or email
- Designate a passenger to respond to your calls and messages
- Put your phone in an inaccessible spot to avoid the temptation to text: trunk, glove compartment, back seat, etc.
- If you are a passenger and the driver is driving distracted, tell them to stop