What is distracted driving awareness month?
And why is there now a month devoted to increasing awareness about this problem?
You have probably heard too many times to count that texting while driving is dangerous. And increasingly becoming the leading cause of auto accidents. But what you may not know is that distracted driving involves much more than cell phone use while driving?
In fact, according to Maine State Trooper Sgt. Brian L. Harris distracted driving…
“could be anything from eating, reading, having a pet in your lap that’s hampering your ability to drive a vehicle, texting, reading emails, composing, even talking on the phone.”
Distracted driving and cell phone usage
Believe it or not roughly 3,300 people lost their lives in 2012 in accidents that were deemed to be caused by distracted driving.
Now, when it comes to distracted driving most people probably think of texting while driving. To underscore this point the U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel. And during the month of April the National Safety Council and FocusDriven will urge people to stop using cell phones while driving.
In fact, according to the NSC nearly 28% of all auto accidents – or 1.6 million crashes – each year are caused by drivers using their handheld or hands-free cell phones and texting while driving.
This means that cell phone use while driving represents the single biggest cause of accidents attributed to “distracted driving.”
So what can you do to prevent distracted driving?
Here are some easy-to-implement suggestions:
- turn off your phone while driving
- silence any alerts for incoming text messages and emails
- keep your phone out of reach while you’re driving (back seat, glove box, trunk)
- while traveling with your spouse hand him or her your phone and let them handle it so you can focus on the road
- pull over to make or answer any calls
No call or text is worth your life.
At BDD we are committed to the safety our clients and those who live in and around our communities.
Please join us this month (and beyond) to make the commitment to yourself and your family and keep your phone off or out of reach while on the road. And remember too that you’re setting an example for your children as well. If you routinely use the phone while driving you are modeling “normal” behavior for them and sending a message that using the phone while driving is “no big deal.
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