April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Accidents are not called “on purposes.” Paying attention with “eyes on the road” is always the best bet.
Did you know texting while driving is one of the most frequent reasons accidents occur? Reading a single text takes the average driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds. The distance covered in 5 seconds at 55 mph is equivalent to the length of a football field. That is a lot of roadway to cover unattended.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the task of safe driving—talking or texting on a phone, applying makeup or grooming, eating, or drinking, talking to passengers in the vehicle, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system.
In order to create safer driving habits, utilize technology to limit distractions. Many vehicles now offer voice-activated technology that allows you to send texts, change radio stations, and make phone calls. Additionally, some device companies like Apple have introduced “Do Not Disturb” features which can be activated when driving to mute notifications and send automated text messages informing your friends that you are currently driving.
Currently, 48 states ban text messaging for drivers. In Minnesota, the Hands-Free Law went into effect in 2019, requiring drivers to only use their cell phone through voice commands or single-touch activation. The law also prohibits motorists from holding a cell phone or other wireless device while driving.
Tips to prevent distracted driving:
- Put your phone out of reach while driving—such as your glove box, back seat, or trunk.
- Pull over and park safely if you need to use your phone or complete a task.
- Speak up if you’re a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is distracted.
- Take the pledge to stop: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving#16991
In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we hope you review your current driving habits and help make our roads safer.
Even with safety in mind, accidents happen. If you’re involved one, remember Crossroads Collision can help. Give us a call!