At least eight people a day are killed in distracted driving crashes. Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads. Cell phone usage — specifically, texting, talking, and social media use — has become the most common distraction. Other risky actions include adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating, and drinking. By driving distracted, you’re robbing yourself of seconds that you may need to avoid a close call or a deadly crash.
Distracted driving isn’t just risky for you, it can be deadly for every nearby driver, pedestrian, bicyclist and worker.
Join us in observing Distracted Driving Awareness Month and help everyone get home safe!
In 2021, distracted driving killed 3,522 people. April, which is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month, is a good time to regroup and take responsibility for the choices we make when we’re on the road. Follow these safety tips for a safe ride:
- Need to send a text? Pull over and park your car in a safe location.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages.
- Sometimes we humans need to stop ourselves from getting in our own way. Try putting your cell, work files and any other tempting distractions in the back seat so you don’t even have the option to reach for them.
- Eating distracts from your manual, visual and cognitive skills while you’re driving. That’s a fact. But if you must snack, pick smart foods. Nothing messy, nothing that involves complicated handling. Keep it simple so your brain can keep its focus where it’s needed the most: on the road.
- Wrangling a GPS system while driving is as bad as texting while driving. Take care of this before you get moving. Same with your seat and mirror position, unwanted sweaters, music or podcast choices; make sure that by the time you hit the road, all that’s required of you is to drive.
- The rear-view mirror is for road safety, not for completing your morning face routine. As tempting as it is to put on makeup in the car in a time crunch, it’s a killer distraction that can easily be avoided. Easy if you remember the consequences, that is.
- It’s not always possible to avoid emotional mind-wandering. Again, we’re humans, and that means by nature we’re easily distracted. So, try mitigating this risk as much as possible. When you get behind the wheel, take a few deep breaths and do what it takes to put emotional stresses on pause. If you can’t, don’t drive.
- Do not scroll through apps while driving. Struggling not to text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
When you’re behind the wheel, your only job is to drive.
Did you know that a text takes 4 seconds and that moving at 55 mph we travel the length of a football field while completing that text? Realize that you may have a far-reaching impact with only a few seconds of diverted attention.
- Remind your friends and family: If you’re in the driver’s seat, it’s the only thing you should be doing. No distractions.
- If your driver is texting or otherwise distracted, tell them to stop and focus on the road.
- Ask your friends to join you in pledging not to drive distracted. You could save a life. Share your pledge on social media to spread the word — #JustDrive.
Until next time, Work Safe & Be Safe!