April is distracted driving awareness month.
When you hear the term distracted driving you may automatically think that someone is talking about talking on the phone or texting. While those can be 2 of the most talked about distractions, there are many other things that we do without realizing how distracting they really are. Distracted driving can be considered anything that takes your focus off of driving, either visually (your eyes off of the road), manually (your hands off of the wheel) or cognitively (taking your mind off of driving). Some other common examples of distracted driving are eating, putting on makeup, using your navigation system or even changing the radio station.
In 2018 over 2,800 people were killed and an estimated 400,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. About 1 in 5 of the people who died were not even in cars, they were walking, riding their bikes or outside of a vehicle in some other way. If you are involved in a distracted driving accident your life and the lives of the other people involved can be drastically changed in an instant. Here are some things you can do to prevent distracted driving for yourself and for others:
-Avoid multitasking while you are driving. Adjust the mirror, pick your music, send the text BEFORE you leave for your ride not during.
-If you are driving with others and you are expecting a call or texts that need to be answered, give your phone to someone else to use while you are driving.
-Use an app that will silence your phone while you are driving. You won’t hear texts or calls when you are driving, eliminating the temptation to check your phone.
-Set a good example for your children. 25% of the distracted drivers involved in fatalities in 2018 were between the ages of 20-29. We all know that our kids are watching everything we do so make a point to turn off you phone or stow it somewhere out of reach and point it out to your kids if they are driving with you.
-Speak up if you are driving with a distracted driver. Offer to help them with whatever they are doing so that they can focus on driving.
-Familiarize yourself with your states laws on distracted driving and reinforce them with your teen drivers. Set consequences for distracted driving. The CDC has a parent-teen driving agreement form on their website that can help you start a discussion with your kids and help set up guidelines.
For more information and tips to stop distracted driving go to: