Texting while driving is the number one distracted driving activity, accounting for 1.6 million crashes annually according to the National Safety Council. However, other actions such as talking on the phone, eating and drinking, applying make-up, or programming your GPS are all activities that divert your attention from driving. 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving in the year 2019 alone. The tragic fact is that all distracted driving deaths and accidents are 100% preventable.
Your Part in Reducing Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness month to act as a reminder for everyone that if you are in the driver’s seat that’s the only thing you should be doing. The NHTSA asks you to follow these tips for a safe ride every time:
- Need to send a text? Pull over and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not scroll through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Enforcement Campaigns
The NHTSA, along with local law enforcement agencies, have partnered to bring greater awareness of distracted driving and it’s consequences throughout the month of April.
During the U Drive. U Text. You Pay. campaign April 8th through April 12th you may notice an increase in police enforcing local texting laws. Depending on your state, you may be subject to tickets, monetary fines, or criminal misdemeanor charges if you violate the law.
Also, on April 8, state highway safety offices and law enforcement agencies across the country will take part in Connect to Disconnect, a 4-hour national distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative. The goal of this campaign is to demonstrate a nationwide commitment to enforcing texting laws in a fair and equitable way, reduce car accidents caused by distracted driving, and prevent injuries and deaths associated with cell phone use and texting while driving.
Distracted Driving Awareness Training
When it comes to distracted driving, awareness leads to prevention. Motivate your drivers to eliminate risky behaviors and make good decisions behind the wheel with comprehensive and frequent training for all employees. By understanding the impact of distracted driving and their role in preventing accidents, drivers are equipped to make both attitude and behavioral changes that ultimately save lives.
Evolved Safety has multiple training programs available to empower better drivers within your organization. Give us a call at 616.916.1178 or contact us online to discuss distracted driving and driver training programs for your team.