As I shared with you in my last blog post, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The goal of the month is to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving, and to remind drivers of the consequences of their distracted actions.
Everyone knows texting while driving is distracting and dangerous, but people often ignore the risks and do it anyway.
Driving while distracted is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you become a danger to everyone on the road around you.
Over the years, millennials have become the biggest texting-while-driving offenders, using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young drivers 16- to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In fact, in 2017, 8 percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when these teen drivers were distracted at the times of the crashes. And female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.
Don’t want to drive while distracted? Then follow these steps:
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
- Cellphone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cellphone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
The bottom line is this: If your attention is anywhere other than the road, you’re driving distracted and you’re driving dangerous.