When you get behind the wheel, you do not intend to put someone else in danger. In fact, most people think very little of the impact of distracted driving or that some of their habits may be hindering their ability to react to obstacles or other drivers.
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving includes any activity that may divert your attention from driving.
The dangers of distracted driving
Distracted driving has alarming consequences. In the U.S., over 3,000 people died in 2019 due to distracted drivers.
Activities that contribute to distracted driving include:
- Changing radio stations
- Talking with your passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Talking and texting on the phone
- Adjusting the navigation system
If you or someone you know texts while driving, it is the same as closing your eyes and driving the length of a football field. If the road does not have your full attention, you cannot guarantee that you can react to other vehicles on the road or avoid an accident.
Ways to minimize distracted driving
To minimize distracted driving, start with yourself. Make it a point not to allow yourself any distractions when behind the wheel. If you have children, you should lead by example. Explain to children the importance of upholding your obligation behind the wheel. Understanding the risks of distracted driving and spreading the information to those you know and love may make a major impact.
While you can commit to keeping your phone off while in the vehicle, you should also speak up if you happen to be a passenger in a car with someone using a phone or engaging in a distraction.