Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Prevention and Awareness
April is recognized as Distracted Driver Awareness Month.
Distracted driving has become a leading cause of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities on our roads, and it’s crucial to understand the risks associated with various distractions, including texting or talking on the phone, eating and drinking, adjusting your vehicle’s controls – even driving with a pet in the car!
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded!
Eating and drinking while driving can also be dangerous distractions. Trying to consume food or beverages while operating a vehicle requires taking at least one hand off the wheel, diverting your attention, and potentially causing spills or messes that can further distract you. According to the NHTSA, eating or drinking while driving increases the likelihood of a crash by 39 percent.
Adjusting the radio, temperature controls, GPS, or other vehicle settings can take your eyes and attention off the road, making it a form of distraction. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that manipulating vehicle controls, such as adjusting the radio or temperature, accounts for approximately 2% of distracted driving-related crashes in the United States.
Driving with a dog in the car may seem harmless, but it can be a significant distraction. Unrestrained pets can roam around the vehicle, obstruct the driver’s view, and even cause sudden movements that can lead to accidents.
Accidents caused by distracted driving can result in higher insurance premiums or even denial of coverage, depending on the severity of the incident. It’s important to remember that prevention is key, and taking steps to avoid distractions while driving can help keep your insurance rates affordable and protect yourself and others on the road.
To ensure safe driving, here are some tips:
- Put away all electronic devices, including phones, while driving. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location.
- Secure your pets properly with a harness, crate, or carrier.
- Avoid eating or drinking while driving. Pull over to a safe location if you need to consume food or beverages.
- Plan your route and adjust your GPS or other devices before you start driving.
- If you are tired or drowsy, pull over and take a break.
- Set a good example for others, especially younger drivers, by practicing safe driving habits at all times.
Distracted driving is a serious and preventable issue that puts lives at risk on the road. Whether it’s texting, using in-vehicle technology, eating, drinking, or engaging in any other form of distraction while driving, it can have severe consequences. If you have any questions about your auto insurance policy or need assistance with your coverage, don’t hesitate to contact our insurance experts today at (845) 831-4300. Let’s work together to raise awareness about distracted driving and make our roads safer for everyone.
Disclaimer: This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by Antalek & Moore Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound, or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits, and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.