According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 alone, distracted driving killed 3,142 people, up 10% from 2018, causing some to describe it as a deadly epidemic on our nation’s roads. But what is distracted driving and what steps can be taken to avoid it?
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving can include driving while drinking coffee, applying makeup, setting your navigation, and of course the big distraction, texting while driving. It only takes a second of distraction to risk an incident.
How can I drive more responsibly?
- If you need to send a text, simply pull over and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
- If you are driving with someone, make your passenger your “designated texter.” Give them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Avoid scrolling through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit forming, so if you’re struggling to not text and drive, simply put your cell phone in your vehicle’s trunk, glove box or back seat until you arrive at your destination.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which runs throughout the month of April, is a good time to take a fresh look at your driving habits. Try to follow the above safety tips to keep you and other drivers safe. From April 8 through 12 you may notice increased law enforcement on the roadways as part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay media campaign.
What else can I do?
- Remind your friends and family that the only thing they should be doing while in the driver’s seat is driving.
- Ask your friends to join you in pledging not to drive distracted and you could save a life.
- Share your pledge on social media to spread the word - #JustDrive.
About the Author:
Ginny Acosta is marketing events manager at Iteris.
Connect with Ginny on LinkedIn.