National Distracted Driver Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driver Awareness month. Over the course of the month the National Safety Council is attempting to not only draw attention to the dangers distracted driving poses, but also to reduce accidents and therefore the injuries and fatalities associated with them.

A distracted driver is anyone whose eyes are taken off the road, hands are off the steering wheel, or someone whose mind is not focused on the task at hand: driving. With smart phones being an ever present fixture in our daily lives, most of know how easy it is to become distracted.

We all know the dangers of talking and texting while driving. Cell phone use is a factor in at least 26{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe} of all vehicle crashes. Texting and driving reduces reaction time by 30{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe} and drivers spend 10{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe} of their driving time drifting into the wrong lane. Consequently, people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to die in a car crash.

Our phones are not the only thing that can draw our attention from the road, however. Other distractions include things like eating, grooming, adjusting the radio, or using GPS. Basically anything that pulls your attention from the road. If a driver is traveling at 55 mph, takes their eyes off the road for 5 seconds, that means in that time they cover the length of an entire football field.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured as the result of distracted driving. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in other things, but in April the National Safety Council is hoping to draw attention to this issue as a reminder to stay focused on what’s in front of us.

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