Don't Drive Distracted

Apr 27, 2021 By:

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month. While professional drivers are held to a different standard of safety expectations, it is everyone’s responsibility to drive safely. We all share the same roadways and should avoid distractions when behind the wheel.

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On average, nine people die every single day from distracted driving, and AAA says that distracted driving now accounts for 25 to 50 percent of all accidents. This is a growing epidemic that is entirely preventable.

Cell phone usage is at the top of the list in terms of dangerous distractions. According to the National Safety Council, using a cell phone while driving increases your risk of crashing by four times. Even sending one text while operating a vehicle at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. We can all agree how dangerous that is, but some other in-vehicle distractions may not seem so obvious. Generally, any time you’re multitasking while driving, it’s likely that you are distracted.

Some of the most common distractions include:

  • Texting or using a cell phone
  • Talking on the phone, even with a hands-free device
  • Eating or drinking
  • Reaching for items in the glovebox, a bag, the backseat, etc.
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting the radio or temperature
  • Checking your GPS or map
  • Taking pictures
  • Grooming or applying makeup
  • Loud or disruptive passengers

When traveling in work zones, it’s even more crucial to avoid all distractions. National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 26-20. While in work zones, stay alert, keep your distance, and slow down and drive the posted speed limit.

You are distracted any time your mind and/or eyes are off the road. You cannot drive safely unless the task at hand has your full attention. If you absolutely must make a call, send a text, or adjust your GPS, pull over to the side of the road.