April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted Driving - Don't Take the Risk
Did you know that if you’re driving and engaging in a conversation on your mobile device, you are over four times more likely to be involved in an accident? Let’s take a look at what constitutes distracted driving, what the consequences are and what you can do to curb any bad habits you’ve developed.
What is distracted driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is "any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving." Here are some specific examples:
- Texting or dialing your phone or hand-held wireless device
- Using your tablet or portable gaming system
- Engaging with a display screen unrelated to driving (e.g., watching a video) Programming a GPS (if not via voice command)
- Eating, drinking, smoking, grooming, reaching for things or reading while driving
Even in places where it's legal to use a hands-free device while driving, the risk of being involved in an accident is still greatly increased. Talking on any device can diminish your reaction time, making you a risk to both yourself and others. "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," says the NHTSA.