The month of April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As technology continues to advance and become part of our everyday lives and surroundings, it is important to remember safety behind the wheel.
Advancements with cell phones as well as newly equipped vehicles can make for a very distracting drive. Drivers not only have distractions that include the road and other drivers, but also vehicles with touch screens, talk to text, voice recognition, blue tooth capabilities and many others. Almost every driver today carries a cell phone with them and if they have a vehicle that is a newer model, they may have additional distractions around them. Many of us can tell when there is another driver distracted by some of these things. They may be swerving, driving too fast or too slow, or even looking at their phone while going through a stoplight!
Here are some alarming statistics about driving while distracted:
- Drivers who are distracted fail to see 50% of their surroundings. That is a lot!!!
- 80% of drivers mistakenly believe that hands-free devices are safer than handheld. The brain is still distracted by conversations whether it is hands-free or handheld.
- Hands-free devices in dashboards and steering wheels can increase mental distraction.
- Talk to text is more distracting to a driver then texting by hand. When a driver talks and the text is not spelled or written correctly, the driver will tend to be more distracted while trying to correct the mistakes rather than paying attention to the road ahead.
Keeping our eyes on the road for other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, and any other surroundings is more important than talking on the phone, sending a text, posting on social media, checking e-mails, or even ordering food! This is why the National Safety Council invites you to take the Focused Driver Challenge and pledge to be an attentive driver. Taking on this challenge means that you will not:
- Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
- Text or send Snapchats
- Use voice-to-text features in your vehicle’s dashboard system
- Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, Vine or other social media
- Check or send emails
- Take selfies or film videos
- Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
- Call or message someone else when you know they are driving
Take on the challenge to be, or remain an attentive driver today!
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