April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
We’ve all seen distracted drivers on the road, you may very well be one yourself. Life’s busy, we have a lot to do and sometimes multitasking behind the wheel seems like a good idea. Please don’t be tempted…there’s a lot at stake if you make one mistake while driving. Avoiding distractions while driving could save your life and the lives of others!
Distracted drivers are all ages, all driving experience levels, men and women. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment — in the time it takes you to answer your cell phone, send a quick text, or check the kids in the back seat, you’ve become a distracted driver.
If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone, think about this: More than 450,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 5,000 of those people died.
Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. There are three main kinds of distractions:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off what you’re doing
To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car here are a few tips:
- Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. This helps reduce temptation.
- Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.
- If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.
- This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!
- If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road.
- Avoid road rage. You’ll be happier and safer.
Bottom line, when you’re on the road, it’s not a time to multi-task. We all need to focus on driving safely. Please take the time this month, to talk to your family and friends about the risks of distracted driving and encourage them to focus on the road. Stay safe!