FYI – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, in case you were too distracted to notice.
Though traffic has dropped significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our roads have only gotten more dangerous. According to National Safety Council, motor vehicle deaths in 2020 estimated to be the highest in 13 years, despite the dramatic drops in miles driven. That is a 24% spike in roadway death rates, it’s the highest it has been in 96 years. Talking on a cell phone – even hands free – or texting or programming or even picking up your phone diverts your attention away from driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics:
- According to the National Safety Council, 80% of drivers incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. Hands-free drivers miss about 50% of what is happening around them as they drive and talk.
- In the time that you take your eyes off the road to read or send a text at 55 MPH, it is like driving the length of a football field blind.
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
- 10 Americans are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day in distracted driving incidents.
How do you avoid distractions and help those you love to stay on track with constant potential distractions?
- Take a minute to prep before you drive. Before you take off, adjust your music, pair your phone, set up your GPS and note directions, check your texts/social media on last time, and adjust your mirror and seat position.
- Utilize the driving safety features on your phone. Use Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or Android Auto.
- Out of sight, out of mind. If you are still distracted by your phone, try stowing it where it won’t tempt you.
- Ask passengers for help. If you have passengers, ask them to read GPS, adjust the radio or answer phone calls/texts.
Keep yourself and others around you safe. Join the NCS during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April to help make our roadways and our people safer. Whether you’re driving a forklift, semi-truck or just headed home after work, attentive driving is more important than ever. Commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NCS Just Drive Pledge (https://cloud.safe.nsc.org/ddam-pledge).