April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month which means it’s a good time to consider the dangers of distracted driving and focus on ways you can take the initiative to implement safer driving habits. It is no secret that distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roadways and something needs to be done to save lives. Look around…you can be assured to see many drivers preoccupied and taking their eyes off the road to talk on the cellphone, scroll social media, send, and respond to texts, or apply mascara. I personally have seen drivers reading books while driving. Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, let’s look at some key points to redirect your attention to the roadways.
Is That Text Worth Risking a Life?
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 3,142 people lost their lives in 2019 due to distracted driving and that number has risen each year since. While these statistics are alarming, there is no evidence the numbers will decline, so this Month (along with all the others) you can redirect your attention to saving lives, focusing on the roads, and putting down your cellphone.
Drivers ranging from 16-24 years of age are proven to be more distracted by cell phone usage than the older drivers, but that does not mean that more experienced drivers aren’t guilty of the same thing. Everyone, all ages, and experience levels, need to put the distractions away and #JustDrive.
Below Are Some Safety Guidelines to Avoid Distracted Driving and Ensure a Safe Ride:
Take the Pledge- Take the pledge for the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign which states you will commit to safe driving, avoid cellphone use while driving, along with acknowledging others when you see them distracted.
Wait to Check Your Phone/Pull Over- If you get a phone call or text, you should wait until you reach your destination to reply or respond. If it is something that is urgent, pull over to a safe location to pick up your phone. Never take your eyes off the road for even a second! That’s all it takes for the unthinkable to happen.
Designate a Text Reader- If you have a passenger in your car, you can designate that person to handle any incoming calls or texts. Your job is only to pay attention to the road.
TeenSMART- If you have young, inexperienced drivers in your household, this is a good tool to increase awareness of distracted driving and promote safety on the roadways. It is a downloadable course that can be taken to enhance safety while driving. It includes driving scenarios and provides activities and exercises that increase awareness of safety while driving. For all drivers that successfully complete the course, they are at a reduced rate of 30% of causing an accident. Moreover, some insurance companies may offer a reduced insurance auto premium once successfully completed. Contact your local N.Y. independent insurance agent for further details.
Spread the Word- Once you are out of the car and not driving, THEN you should pick up your phone and spread the word #JustDrive on social media. Let all your loved ones know you are prioritizing safety and making a strong effort to reduce distracted driving and why they should too. If you are in a car with someone who is using their cellphone while driving, ask them to stop and focus on the road. You can share this information on social media to reach the masses to take part in this effort.
Let’s Be Accountable for Safe Driving Practices
Owning and operating an auto comes with a lot of responsibility. When you compromise that responsibility, you are creating an unsafe environment on the roadways, which could lead to fatalities. Put down the phone, stay focused and once you reach your destination, THEN you can respond to that text, scroll through social media, or answer the phone call. This month and every month let’s be accountable for our actions behind the wheel. Contact us at Cameron Insurance Group with any questions or concerns you may have regarding distracted driving. Stay Safe!