April 18, 2018

What Are You Doing to Prevent Distracted Driving?

distracted driving: man yelling into cell phone while driving

We keep hearing about car accidents involving distracted driving. Recently in the Chicago suburbs, a driver with several passengers flipped his car on an expressway exit-ramp curve. He and a female passenger were killed. The other passengers were injured, but survived. One wonders if distracted driving played a part in this tragedy.

This type of deadly scenario plays out daily across the United States. Are you taking unnecessary risks such as checking your phone, reaching into the back seat, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio, eating, arguing, and doing all sorts of other things while trying to drive your car?

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving affects all of us. It is truly a public health issue. We may have mastered the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time, but that doesn’t mean we can eat a burger and drive at the same time. At least not safely. Science actually proves that humans are ill-suited for multitasking. Studies show that productivity in the workplace, and safety—both on the job and on our roadways—are greatly reduced when we try to switch back and forth between tasks and do more than one thing at a time. Read this article from the American Psychological Association to learn more about the fascinating science behind these conclusions. Nowhere is our inability to multitask more evident than in operating motor vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that distracted driving contributed to the deaths of 3,450 people in 2016. Additionally, according to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people were killed on US roadways last year. Motor vehicle fatalities reported for 2017 went up by 6 percent from 2015. This increase represents “the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years.

Take Safety Tips to Heart

As the spring and summer travel seasons pick up, meaning more people are on the roads, please remember to minimize distractions while driving. Check this advice from the National Safety Council on how to do your part to make our roadways safer. Please take five minutes to review these suggestions. Share them with your friends and your teenage drivers. Commit to reducing accidents and the distractions that can cause them. Safe travels!