Have you ever scrolled quickly through your social media feed while at a stoplight or thought no one would notice if you checked that urgent email from work on your phone while driving home from the office? Unfortunately, most drivers have participated in some type of distracted driving in the past year. Even more worrisome is the amount of accidents distracted driving causes on the roadways.
The National Safety Council reports that every day at least 9 Americans die due to crashes caused by distracted driving. Further, they estimate 100 are injured daily due to distracted driving practices as well. Distracted driving is a public health concern that only seems to be getting worse.
What is Distracted Driving?
Most drivers already know that texting, emailing, or internet browsing while driving is a major hazard. However, doing those things while at a stoplight or while pulled on the side of the road waiting for someone is just as dangerous.
Distracted driving is doing anything besides driving while behind the wheel. Putting on makeup, eating, checking the map on your GPS, or even talking on the phone are all considered distracted driving.
What About Dashboard Help?
Some drivers mistakenly think that using the electronic dashboard assistance in their car is not distracted driving. However, searching your GPS or using a Bluetooth to connect with your phone on your car’s speaker system can be just as dangerous as holding your phone.
What Can I Do?
Distracted driving causes accidents and fatalities daily, but you can have a direct impact on your safety – and the safety of others on the road – by adopting good driving habits. Start by taking the pledge to Just Drive, keeping devices tucked away and out of reach while you are behind the wheel. Talk to your kids about distracted driving dangers and set up a family commitment to keeping distraction at bay while in the vehicle. Your children are watching you, so be a good example of safe driving practices.
Let’s all commit to staying focused on the road, and nothing else, while we are driving. Together, we can eliminate distracted driving one day at a time.