April is National Distracted Driving Month. Every day about 8 people in the United States are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. According to the 2020, CDC distracted driving report, more than 2,800 were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety report, about 1 in 5 people who have died in crashes involving a distracted driver were not in vehicles; they were walking, riding their bikes, or otherwise outside a vehicle.
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction. Sending a text message, talking on the cell phone, using the navigation system, or eating while driving is just a few examples of distracted driving. Any of these distractions can endanger you, your passengers, and others on the road.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your attention off driving
What is considered distracted driving?
Distractions can come from many sources, above and beyond mobile phones. You are considered a distracted driver if you perform any of the following actions behind the wheel:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking while driving
- Text, scroll, or searching on your phone
- Applying makeup
- Playing with radio or navigation system
- Reaching for something on the floor
- Look at maps or read directions
Any activity that takes your attention away from driving is considered distracted driving, even for a second. Small actions like changing the radio station or checking a map can be dangerous since these actions require taking your eyes off the road.
How to prevent distracted driving
What can drivers do?
Do not multitask while driving. Whether it’s adjusting your mirrors, picking the music, eating a sandwich, making a phone call, or reading an email – do it before or after your trip, not during.
What can passengers do?
- Speak up if you are a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Ask the driver to focus on driving.
- Reduce distractions for the driver by assisting with navigation or other tasks.
What can parents do?
- Talk to your teen or young adult
About the rules and responsibilities involved in driving. Share stories and statistics related to teen/young adult drivers and distracted driving. Remind them driving is a skill that requires the driver’s full attention. Emphasize that texts and phone calls can wait until arriving at a destination.
- Familiarize yourself
with your state’s graduated driver licensing and enforce its guidelines for your teen.
- Know your state’s laws on distracted driving
Many states have novice driver provisions in their distracted driving laws. Talk with your teen about the consequences of distracted driving and make yourself and your teen aware of your state’s penalties for talking or texting while driving.
- Set consequences for distracted driving
Fill out CDC’s Parent-Teen driving agreement together to begin a safe driving discussion and set your family’s rules of the road. Your family’s rules of the road can be stricter than your state’s law. You can also use these simple and effective ways to get involved with your teen’s driving.
- Set an example
Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while driving.
For optimal motor vehicle safety, head on over to the Car Factory’s Miami or Florida locations. Our certified mechanics will ensure that everything in your car is working perfectly before you head out on that long drive. Book an appointment today by calling us at 786-406-6234 or visit our website.
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