While many distractions exist when driving, cell phones are a top distraction.
Other distractions can include tending to passengers in the back seat, eating, putting on makeup or grooming, adjusting the radio, and checking your GPS.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the United States. Distracted driving involves anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and your mind off of driving. This risky behavior is not only dangerous for yourself as the driver, but for everyone else on the road, as well. The National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,200 people died in car crashes in 2016. That is a 6% increase from 2015 and a 14% increase since 2014. The estimated cost of deaths, injuries, and property damage from crashes in 2016 was $432.5 billion.
While many distractions exist when driving, cell phones are a top distraction. For the reason that so many people use them for long periods of time every day. Texting is a type of distraction that is visual, manual, and cognitive. Other distractions can include tending to passengers in the back seat, eating, putting on makeup or grooming, adjusting the radio, and checking your GPS. To avoid a crash, a driver must recognize a hazard, react, and give the vehicle time to stop. A focused driver going 50 mph will travel nearly the length of a football field before stopping completely. When a driver is not focused on the road, it severely limits their ability to stop and avoid a crash.
The National Safety Council recommends policies that prohibit cell phone usage while behind the wheel. The free policy kit, which you can download here, helps reduce crash risk. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is running a Focus on Driving campaign, using #FocusOnDrivingFL across social media to spread the word of driving safely. For information on Safety Courses Click Here