April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is distracted driving awareness month. Learn more about this leading cause of automobile accidents and how you can help make our roads safer.
Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. While many things can distract drivers, the biggest culprit is the cell phone. You might think it’s not a big deal, you only looked down at your phone for five seconds to send a quick text. But it is a big deal. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is the equivalence of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

The Consequences of Distracted Driving

The consequences of driving while distracted are no joking matter. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving during daylight hours. This means that even if you aren’t using your cell phone, you need to be aware of drivers near you increasing your risk of being in an accident.

Distracted Driving Laws

Image via IIHS.org

Talking or using a hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal in the following 19 US states and the District of Columbia.

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington DC
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota (Effective 08/01/2019)
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee (Effective 07/01/2019)
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Additionally, the following states are working on legislation to make talking or using a hand-held device while driving illegal.

  • Alabama
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Massachussetts

How You Can Help Prevent Distracted Driving

This month is a great time to get involved, and stay involved, in helping prevent distracted driving. Here are some tips in how you can help prevent distracted driving.

  • Lead by example
    • Whether you’re a parent, an older sibling, a friend, or just another driver on the road. Being a positive example that distracted driving is dangerous can help save a life.
  • Make your voice heard
    • Reach out to your local politicians and provide support for local laws. Community meetings are a great place to help highlight the dangers of driving while distracted.
  • Go hands-free
    • If you need to use your phone for navigation, music streaming or hands-free calling, a proper mount in your car can keep you safe. A mount from ProClip can keep your phone docked safely and out of your hands. Always remember to drive safely and that the text can wait.