April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, helping today’s drivers become aware of the road’s everyday risks. Motor vehicle deaths have increased substantially, in recent years. The National Safety Council has pinpointed some top driver beliefs and behaviors which cause distracted driving—making the push for awareness more important than ever.
The Statistics Still Matter
Even in 2018, distracted driving fatalities are numerous. Approximately 47 percent of drivers consider texting to be safe, behind the wheel. Another 45 percent state they even feel pressured by employers to check that smartphone’s email when driving.
For younger drivers, 35 percent of teenagers browse social media while driving and texting while driving increases a teen’s risk for auto accidents by 400%. Of adolescents who’ve crashed a vehicle, 17 percent consider their own distraction might’ve contributed to the crash. Across the country, local police are targeting distracted drivers—reprimanding and ticketing them for the use of mobile devices. This surge in distracted-driving-related tickets, however, shouldn’t be the main deterrent for smartphone use behind the wheel.
Even Phone Companies Are Getting Involved
Leading phone companies are researching solutions to distracted driving, too. A slew of studies recording thousands of drivers reflect the above-mentioned statistics: that phone distraction accounts for many crashes, and it it’s becoming increasingly prevalent.
While some phone companies have created mobile apps geared towards verbal input—reducing the amount of time one’s hands are on the phone—others are offering lockout features. These lockout features stop drivers from using their phones behind the wheel—blocking access whenever a device’s geo-targeting software targets a specific speed. The idea, here, is to block smartphone usage when driving—even if it’s inconvenient.
Combating Distracted Driving
While distracted driving will never go away, you can still inform your friends and family about its dangers. Smartphone use behind the wheel is incredibly prevalent, and it can be disastrous in the blink of an eye. Check out the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month resources. Refer its Distracted Driving Course to your friends and family, too.
If you use social media, take on the #JustDrive message trending on Twitter and Facebook. Plenty of informative posts exist, and each can help you—and your loved ones—become better drivers.
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