Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and an additional 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any visual, manual, or cognitive distraction that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Example of distractions include:
• Using a cell phone or smartphone for anything other than voice communication
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Reading, including maps
• Using in-vehicle infotainment systems
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a navigation system
Because text messaging requires all three types of driver distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive – it is considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving.
What are the consequences of distracted driving?
The consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. In addition to the potential for property damage and injuries, distracted driving can also lead to:
• Increased insurance rates
• Loss of driving privileges
• Job loss
How can I avoid distracted driving?
The best way to avoid distracted driving is to limit or eliminate distractions while behind the wheel. Here are some additional tips:
• Let calls go to voicemail and check messages after you’ve stopped driving.
• If you must make a call, use hands-free technology.
• Program your GPS before you start driving.
• Pull over to a safe location to eat or drink.
• Limit conversations with passengers – they can be a distraction, too.
• Don’t let passengers use your phone.
• Never text, email, or post on social media while behind the wheel.
In short, the best way to avoid distracted driving is to stay focused on the task of driving and to avoid anything that takes your attention away from the road. If you must do something that takes your attention away from driving, pull over to a safe location first.
Distracted driving is dangerous and it is important to be aware of the risks. By following these tips, you can help make the roads safer for everyone.
If you do get into an accident caused by distracted driving, be sure to visit your local collision repair shop. They will be able to fix any damage that was done to your car and get you back on the road in no time.