Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of roadway accidents each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that driver distraction was the cause of nearly 20% of all fatal crashes, with over 3,000 people dying as a result in 2019 alone.
Smartphones are one of the biggest distractions for drivers, with texting and driving being cited as one of the leading causes of accidents and one of the most dangerous tasks that can be performed behind the wheel. Since texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention, drivers are unable to focus on both driving and texting at once. The NHTSA states that using your phone while driving can make you 3 times more likely to get into an accident.
Driving requires a high level of focus and awareness of your surroundings. When your eyes are on your phone or other distractions inside your vehicle, you are far less likely to be aware of what is going on around you. Other drivers might be slowing down or trying to switch lanes, there might be hazards in the road like OTW Safety barriers, or pedestrians might be trying to cross in front of your vehicle. Putting down distractions while you drive could not only save your life but the lives of those around you.
Distracted driving is a major issue that is causing thousands of deaths on American roads each year, but there are things that can be done to prevent it.
What Can Drivers Do?
· Keep Phones Out of Reach
If you are tempted to use your phone while driving or fear you won’t be able to ignore texts or calls that might come through while you’re on the road, keep your phone somewhere out of reach, such as the back seat or glove box.
· Use Your Phone’s “Driving” Feature
Thanks to recent technology, it is now easier than ever to keep distractions from your phone at bay while you’re behind the wheel. Putting your phone in “Driving” mode will prevent texts and calls from coming through until you deactivate the setting once you have arrived at your destination. When using this setting, your contacts can choose to alert you of texts or calls anyway in the event of an emergency.
· Pull Over to Use Phone
If you need to use your phone for any reason while you are driving, pull over.
What Can Passengers Do?
· Speak Up
If you are a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is distracted, don’t be afraid to speak up. Tell the driver that you feel uncomfortable with them using their phone (or whatever the distraction may be), and arrange alternative plans for transportation in the future if possible.
· Assist the Driver
Offer to assist the driver with tasks such as replying to texts, taking calls, getting directions, playing music, and more.
Avoiding distractions behind the wheel can save your life. Texting, getting directions, playing music, or other common distractions are not worth the risk of a fatal accident. Following these tips can ensure you are not in a situation where you or someone else is tempted to use your phone behind the wheel.
Article Submitted By Community Writer