There are a lot of distractions in our cars when driving. We have cell phones, Navigation screens, car stereos and eating while behind the wheel all add up to distractions. These distractions can lead to accidents and fatalities.
According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
- During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
- Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
- You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
On the same website of the NHTSA, there are some helpful suggestions on how to reduce distractions.
- Encourage teens to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.
- Parents first have to lead by example—by never driving distracted—as well as talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Remind your teen driver that in States with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended the license.
Employers can encourage their employees to reduce their distractions by these few suggestions.
- Establish company policies regarding cell phone use in company vehicles.
- Make distracted driving the topic of your next safety committee meeting.
- Adding distracted driving awareness courses to your ongoing workplace safety training schedule.
Through The Beating Heart Center, we partnered with National Safety Council in showing how to be aware of distracted drivers.