This April A.N. Webber Logistics is observing Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving has been an ever-increasing problem, especially with the advent of mobile communication. With the rise of the cell phone use over the last 10 years accidents have been increasing at an alarming rate.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “In 2019, distracted driving killed 3,142 people – a 10% increase from 2018. Young drivers seem more prone to using their phones while driving. In NHTSA Research from 2017, drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers have since 2007.” If you text and drive, no matter what age, you are at an increased risk for accidents.
As April ends, it is a suitable time to take stock of your driving practices. Anything that takes your sight, hands or mind off the road increases your risk for an accident. What habits have you fallen into?
NationalToday.com lists four types of distracted driving:
• Visual distractions include looking at something other than the road.
• Auditory distractions are hearing something that takes your mind off the road.
• Manual distractions include physically manipulating objects other than the steering wheel.
• Cognitive distractions are thoughts about things other than the road.
NationalToday.com lists some key facts about distracted drivers. First, “People who text and drive statistically spend 10% of their time on the road outside their lane.” Secondly, “forty-three of America’s 50 states have laws prohibiting texting and driving. South Dakota, New Mexico, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri have laws regulating it. Arizona just extended their reckless driving laws to cover texting.” Finally, “Texters are six times more likely to wreck their car than drivers over the legal drinking limit.”
People have been observed doing all kinds of things that are blatantly hazardous while driving. These activities include reading a book, changing clothes, applying make-up, painting their nails, and even shaving! It is the old mind-set, “I can manage it,” or “It will just take a second.” that trips most people up. Five seconds is a long time when you are traveling down the road. Do not be responsible for injuring yourself or others with actions that can be done at another time. These seemingly harmless activities are not worth your life or someone else’s.
Here are some things you can do to limit the distractions while driving:
• Create a play list ahead of time with things to listen to such as music, podcasts, or books ontape
• Always remember to keep your mind focused on the road
• Always remember to wait to text or call someone back. Find a safe place to pull over if it is important
• Set your GPS before you head out on the road. If you need to change your destination pull over before changing route.
Now, that you know how to minimize the risks of distracted driving, make sure to tell your family and friends.