April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we wanted to shine a light on how you can stay focused when behind the wheel. The National Safety Council has shown that our roads are the most dangerous they’ve been in years. Eight people are killed and hundreds more are injured in distracted driving crashes each day. In fact, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020.
Distraction comes in many forms in the car.
It could mean taking your eyes off the road to change the radio station, taking your hands off the wheel to enjoy the first sips of morning coffee, or losing your focus because you’re talking to a passenger. From eating, drinking, and personal grooming, to using a GPS, and talking or texting on a cell phone, there’s no limit to the possible distractions while driving. Each one puts the driver, passengers, and others on the road at risk with inattentive behavior.
Perhaps the most serious of these distractions is cell phone use.
At any given time during the day, more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held device, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That time on the phone, whether talking or texting, is dangerous. In fact:
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds—when driving at 55 mph that is the equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field…blind
- Sending a text makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash
- Using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.8 percent
- Using a hand-held device while driving makes a driver four times more likely to get in a serious crash
- Talking on a hands-free cell phone still takes the focus away from the road, causing a driver to miss important visual cues
While you can’t control others’ actions on the road, you can control your own. To limit the use of your phone, turn it off and place it out of reach when you get in the car. If you use the radio or a GPS, set it before you start driving so you won’t need to adjust it later. Also, avoid eating or drinking while driving.
Riding as a passenger?
If your driver is distracted or doing something dangerous, you have the right to speak up! More than 46,000 people died on the road last year. Every death is someone’s friend, child, co-worker – and every death is preventable. We all have a responsibility to prevent these senseless deaths.
So what can you do?
Commit to distraction-free driving and take the Just Drive Pledge today:
I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:
- Have a phone or text conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
- Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
- Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube or other social media
- Check or send emails
- Take photos (including selfies) or film videos
- Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
- Call or message someone else when I know they are driving
Make sure you are covered while on the road. Contact Us Today!