Be About Safety, Not Distractions – The Risk is Never Rewarded
Consider the following scenario – you are driving along on the highway between home and the grocery store and you read a text message asking you to pick up some dog treats for Buddy. Can you relate?
Whether it be a text message, email or phone call, most people are guilty of checking their smartphones while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at 55 mph, the time that it takes you to read the above message is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Distracted driving continues to be an epidemic despite the evolution of vehicles that now include advanced technology to assist in eliminating distractions. Although the use of smartphones is most closely associated with distracted driving, there are many other actions, including eating, petting your dog, and personal grooming that also lead to distracted driving. Distracted driving is considered engaging in any action that diverts the attention of the driver.
In 2014, it was reported that distracted driving accidents were responsible for an estimated $129 billion in losses. With that knowledge, it is no surprise that there is a direct correlation between distracted driving accidents and the increase in auto premiums as reported by The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Here are some ideas to help eliminate distractions to ensure that all drivers reach their destinations safely:
Avoid texting or talking on the phone by setting the phone on “Do Not Disturb” or airplane mode settings.
Don’t eat while driving – Finish a meal or snack before beginning or continuing the trip).
Make sure pets are in a carrier.
Program radio stations or music devices for easy access and select the music before driving.
Keep the radio volume low enough to hear sounds outside the vehicle.
Complete your personal grooming at home before beginning your commute.
Set the navigation system in advance of starting the trip or designate a passenger to provide the directions to avoid diverting the attention from the road.
Discuss the behavioral expectations with children before starting the trip to avoid disciplinary distractions.
Use caution when approaching an accident but avoid investigating based off of visual evidence.
Pull off the road and rest if you are tired.
Do not reach for items that have fallen while driving until the trip is completed.
Quick References: Below are some links that provide additional information about the dangers of distracted driving. Whether it be responding to a text message or email to consoling your Corgi or French Bulldog to brushing your hair, know that it can wait! There is no cost that can replace a human life. Help us spread the word to make sure all drivers and passengers reach their destinations safely.