April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month so this is a great time to remind everyone about the importance of safe driving. Thousands of people die each year because they are distracted while driving – in 2012, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes. In 2010, Governor Patrick signed The Safe Driving Law, banning sending, typing or reading electronic messages to or from handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and improper cell phone use behind the wheel.
Here are 10 Tips from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association for Managing Driver Distractions:
- Turn it off
- Spread the word
- Pull over if you need to make a call or text
- Use your passengers to make the call for you
- X the text: don’t EVER text and drive
- Know the law
- Prepare – review maps and directions ahead of time
- Secure your pets – they can be a big distraction in the car
- Keep the kids safe
- Focus on the task at hand: refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road
Here are more facts:
- 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.
- Up to 6000 people nationwide are killed in crashes where driver distractions are involved.
- Talking on a cell phone or texting is the number one source of driver distractions.
- Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, far enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Most crashes happen with less than 3 seconds reaction time.
- The act of talking on a cell phone, even hands free, can give you “inattention blindness,” where your brain isn’t seeing what’s right in front of you. You aren’t even aware that you are driving impaired. If you think you can handle both driving and talking on a cell phone or texting, you are kidding yourself and putting us all at risk.