April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. According to the National Safety Council, our roads are the most dangerous they have been in years.
A recent NSC estimate shows that eight people are killed and hundreds more are injured in distracted driving related crashes each day. This same report shows that total motor-vehicle deaths for 2021 were up 9% from 2020, and up 18% from 2019.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, of those crashes in 2019, distracted driving was the cause of over 3000 of those killed.
Tips for driving responsibly
The following safety tips with regard to cell phone use come from the NHTSA:
- If you need to read or send a text, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
- Just like we use a designated driver, utilize the same philosophy and use a "designated texter" in your vehicle.
- Cell phone use can be addicting. Put your cell phone in a place where you can't access it, such as the glove box or in the back seat.
What are other common distractions while driving?
Cell phone use is not the only distraction to be aware of while driving. Some other forms of distracted driving are:
- eating and drinking
- applying makeup
- managing children or pets
- adjusting temperature or radio controls
How to take action on distracted driving
Now is as good a time as take action on any of these behaviors. As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, April 8th through April 12th, you may see an uptick in law enforcement on the roads as part of the national paid media campaign U Drive, U Text, U Pay.
Here are some things you can do:
- Remind your friends and family.
- If you are in the driver's seat - driving is the only thing you should be doing.
- If you are a passenger and the driver is distracted, request that they stop and focus on the road.
According to the NHTSA, 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers, and 25 states and territories prohibit drivers from using handheld devices while driving.
Don't let yourself or your loved ones become a statistic.