April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

By April 19, 2016Community
Distracted Driving Month

This month has been named Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council. Toyota is taking steps to increase driver safety by creating a research institute that is working on elimination of car crashestalking cars that will be able to report on road conditions; and a new mapping system that will help with hazard avoidance. Still, distracted driving is a major issue and we urge everyone to make the important decision to pay attention when they are driving. In Wisconsin alone, the most recent year’s (2014) average for car crashes was nearly 120,000! Nationally for the same year, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. According to the United States government, distracted driving is considered any of the following activities:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
  • Or anything else that distracts from the priority of operating a motor vehicle

So should you not change the radio? Generally its considered safe to avert your eyes from the road for 3 seconds in order to adjust the radio, however most text messages take an average of 5 seconds of the reader’s time. The National Safety Council advises to send and read text messages before you start driving, decide where you want to go before you put the car in “drive” and enter it into the GPS if necessary, and pull off to the side of the road if you need to take a call.  Hands free and new infotainment systems are helpful, but ultimately still a major distraction. Try your hardest to leave your commute time to commuting alone. Allow this to be the time that you reflect on your day or simply enjoy the open road with some great tunes. Join in on the conversation on social media using the hashtag “#takebackyourdrive’ or visit nsc.org and pledge to be a more attentive driver.

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