Stay Alert, Stay Safe: Distracted Driving Awareness
How aware are you about Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents and fatalities on our roads, but by raising awareness and promoting responsible driving habits, we can all play a part in reducing the risks.
Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. There are three main types of distractions:
1. Visual distractions – taking your eyes off the road
2. Manual distractions – taking your hands off the wheel
3. Cognitive distractions – taking your mind off driving
Examples of common distractions include texting or talking on a cell phone, eating, grooming, adjusting the radio, using a GPS device, or even daydreaming. These distractions can have severe consequences and put the driver, passengers, and others on the road at risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, distracted driving caused the deaths of 3,142 people in the United States. These accidents are entirely preventable by maintaining focus on the road and avoiding distractions.
Texting while driving is particularly dangerous, as it combines all three types of distractions. Sending or reading a text takes an average of five seconds, and at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
To help create a safer driving environment in our community, consider the following tips:
1. Make a commitment – Pledge to yourself and your loved ones that you will not engage in distracted driving. Encourage others to do the same.
2. Plan ahead – Before you start driving, adjust your mirrors, seat, climate controls, and GPS, and choose your music playlist or radio station. If you need to make a call or send a text, do it before you start driving.
3. Use technology wisely – Use a hands-free device or Bluetooth technology to make calls, or better yet, wait until you reach your destination to communicate. If you must use your phone, pull over to a safe location.
4. Set a good example – As a parent or role model, demonstrate responsible driving habits for your children or younger passengers. Talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving and explain the importance of staying focused on the road.
5. Speak up – If you’re a passenger in a vehicle and notice the driver is distracted, speak up and let them know your concerns. Offer to help with tasks like adjusting the GPS or making a phone call.
During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, there are many ways you can get involved and help raise awareness:
– Share information about distracted driving on social media using the hashtag #JustDrive
– Encourage your friends and family to take the pledge to end distracted driving
– Attend local events or presentations on distracted driving prevention
– Volunteer with local organizations that focus on promoting safe driving habits
Let’s all do our part to make our roads safer for everyone. By staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions, we can help reduce accidents and save lives. Remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your primary responsibility is to drive safely and attentively. The text, call, or snack can wait – your safety and the safety of others on the road should always come first.
We encourage each of you to join us in making a commitment to end distracted driving in our community. Together, we can make our community a safer place for all of us to live, work, and play. Share your stories and experiences, and let’s work together to raise awareness and make a difference this Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
For more tips on preventing distracted driving and staying safe on the road, feel free to reach out to your friends at the Carbondale Fire Department.