Distracted Driving And The Danger That Comes With It
In order to recognize the dangers of and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving, April has been named national Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is not just limited to talking on the phone. Over 80% of drivers admit to blatantly hazardous behavior while driving, such as changing clothes, steering with a foot, painting nails, or even shaving. 1
3,166 people were killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver in 2017. 2 Using your phone is the biggest cause for distraction while operating a vehicle. In fact, you might think sending a quick text is harmless, but it takes on average 5 seconds to send a text and if you are going around 55 mph, in just 5 seconds, you will have traveled the entire length of a football field, all with your eyes off of the road. 2
You might think this is a problem only with younger people, but it is not. Parents and teens are both equally guilty of distracted driving, because it’s not just limited to being on your phone. It could be touching up your makeup, eating, fixing your hair, finishing up some work at a stoplight, basically anything that takes your undivided attention off of the road.
I think at one point or another, we have all been guilty of this. We can all contribute to help bring more awareness to this issue and to try and stop it. If you are a parent, be a good role model for your kids and their friends. It’s so important to lead by example, because young people are so influenced by our actions, more than we will ever know. Some tips to help you focus on the road could be
- Limit the number of passengers in the car. Too many people talking loudly could cause someone to become distracted quickly. 3
- Don’t try and multitask while you are in the car. Pick a song, finish your food, complete your makeup or hair all before you turn on your car.
- Take your time driving. We all are in a hurry from time to time, but nothing is more important than your safety and the safety of others.
- Do not use your phone while driving unless it is an absolute emergency, it can wait. If you do have an emergency, pull off to the side of the road and then use your phone.
Those are just a few simple everyday things we can do to make sure we are being cautious while out on the road. We have all seen the sad commercials on TV about people losing their loved ones through distracted or drunk driving. Don’t let that be you or someone you love. A text, phone call, your makeup, eating, it can all wait. It is not worth risking not only your life, but other innocent people on the roads lives as well.
For more information on the driving laws where you live, you can visit your state laws website to see all of the details. You can visit Missouri’s page here.
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