Distracted Driving Can Be Fatal

Many people associate Distracted Driving with texting and phone use.  However, distraction takes place any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off your driving.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the types of distractions while driving include:

·         Texting and using a cell phone

·         Eating and drinking

·         Talking to passengers

·         Grooming

·         Reading, including maps

·         Using a navigation system

·         Watching a video

·         Adjusting a radio

 The statistics associated with distracted driving are alarming (Source: Department of Transportation):

·         3,328 died and 421,000 were injured in distraction-affected crashes in 2012.

·         16% of all distracted driving crashes involved drivers under 20.

·         Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting.  At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.

·         Unfortunately, studies have shown that hands-free cell phone use is not substantially safe than hand-held use.

So what can you do to reduce distractions while driving?  According to Consumer Reports, you can take the following five steps:

·         Silence the phone – keep phone use on the road limited to emergencies.

·         Map it out – know where you are going.

·         Skip the drive through – do not eat or drink (especially hot coffee/tea).

·         Groom at home – do not apply makeup or shave in the driver’s seat.

 

·         Familiarize yourself with the car’s controls – make sure you know how to use controls needed for safe driving.