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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Contributed by Tim Ryan on 04/23/19 

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, making now the perfect time to consider the consequences of distracted driving.

According to the National Safety Council, every day at least 9 people die and 1,000 more are injured on U.S. roads in distracted driving crashes caused by cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies that pose a threat to safe driving.

 Fast Facts about Distracted Driving:

  • 5 seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting; traveling at 55 mph, that is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • Voice-to-text is even more distracting than holding your phone. You are mentally distracted by composing the message and visually distracted by common autocorrect errors.
  • Even at stoplights, it is important to remain an attentive driver; an AAA study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they send a voice text.
  • 7% of all drivers at any given time are using their phones while driving, but cognitive neuroscience studies say only about 2.5% of the population are actually capable of multitasking.
  • Drivers who are talking on their cell phone are 4x more likely to crash - drunk drivers share those odds. The odds of crashing if you're texting while driving is 8x times the normal rate, meaning it doubles the crash likelihood of driving drunk.

So how do we resist the temptation?

Here are three ideas to help curb this terrible habit:

  • Get your phone out of reach. Turn your phone on silent-or airplane mode-and place it in your glove compartment. If you are still too tempted, throw it in the trunk before getting behind the wheel.
  • Distract yourself-safely. Try listening to interesting radio stations, podcasts or audiobooks. None of these are as attention-absorbing as texting, which takes both your attention and your eyes off the road.
  • Use an app to prevent use.  Some wireless providers offer a Drive mode App, which can detect when your car is traveling, stopping you from sending texts, and can even send an automatic response saying you are driving and cannot talk right now.



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