Roadway deaths related to distracted driving are rising. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, up from 3,179 in 2014. While you can’t control the behavior of others, you can take steps to educate yourself and your family members (especially teen drivers) about the dangers associated with distracted driving behavior.
The most common reason for distracted driving is using a cell phone. Smartphones have made life easier in many ways, but they also pose a major risk if used while driving. From texting to surfing the web to using navigational apps, drivers take their eyes and their mind off the road, and it can result in fatalities.
Just reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, you’ll travel the length of a football field before your attention is back on the roadway. A lot can happen in a short time when you’re behind the wheel, and it’s not worth the risk!
Besides using a phone, you can become distracted in other ways while driving. It’s not just about where you’re looking — it has to do with your mind as well. If you’re involved in a serious phone conversation (albeit a hands-free one), your mind isn’t on the task at hand: driving safely.
And doing your makeup, shaving and eating while driving can also cause an accident. Driving isn’t the time to multitask.
Preventing problems starts with yourself. How are your behaviors contributing to the epidemic of distracted driving? Do you check your phone behind the wheel, or do you treat a driver’s responsibility with the respect it deserves?
If you want your teenagers to follow your example, make sure it’s a good one. Restrict the use of phones in the front seats of the car. Don’t eat or even snack while driving. Keep children and pets secured in the back seats. If you absolutely have to make a call, send a text or look up directions, pull over. It’s not always convenient, but neither is getting into a potentially fatal car accident.
When you’re planning prevention strategies for distracted driving, assess your car insurance policy as well. Make sure you’re covered adequately in case of an accident, and double-check that you are clear on your responsibilities in terms of premiums and deductibles. Talk to Four Seasons Insurance for a free quote for you and all of the drivers in your household.