April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Inter-Tech Collision Center is here to remind you to stay safe when you’re out on the road. Below, we’ve compiled a few tips and stats to help you be safe when you’re out and about and, hopefully, make you think twice about reaching for your phone when you’re on the road.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Roughly 3,000 people are killed each year in crashes related to distracted driving. That number includes more than just the person operating the vehicle — passengers, bikers, and pedestrians are all at a higher risk when you take your attention away from the road. On top of that, more than 300,000 people on average are injured in distracted driving accidents.
The likelihood of being in an accident increases exponentially when you divide your attention between driving and a secondary activity. Eating, for example, doubles your chance of being in an accident. Putting on makeup, you’re looking at three times the risk. Reaching for something you dropped? An accident becomes nine times more likely. However, none of them hold a candle to phone usage which increases the likelihood of getting in an accident by an astonishing 23 times!
It’s easy to figure out once you crunch the numbers. For instance, if you’re traveling 55 mph on the highway and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds — the average amount of time it takes to view a text — you’ve already traveled the equivalent of a football field. It doesn’t matter how much you think you’re paying attention, if your eyes are on your phone, you’re putting yourself and everyone around you at risk.
Adjust Everything Before You Leave
There’s a reason your drivers ed teacher marked you off for not doing this. Making adjustments before you hit the road is crucial to your safety. Check your side mirrors, slide your seat into the right position, and pick a radio station or playlist that will last your entire trip. Are you going somewhere you’re not entirely familiar with? Put your destination into your GPS and make sure that you can clearly hear the instructions so you won’t have to fiddle with the volume or hold your phone up to your ear. Taking 30 extra seconds to make these tweaks cuts down on those risk factors mentioned above and, in turn, drastically reduces your chances of being in an accident.
Set An Example For Your Kids
Parents, when it comes to distracted driving a “do as I say, not as a do” approach is not going to cut it. How are your kids expected not to text and surf the internet at stoplights if you are chatting on the phone in rush hour traffic? We understand that you’re busy, but we also know that nothing is more important to you than your child’s safety.
For more tips on avoiding distracted driving, or to set up a repair appointment if you’ve been in an accident, contact Inter-Tech Collision Center today at 402-898-8900.