April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a month in which we work to bring awareness and attention to distracted driving and the dangers that it presents to everyone on the road. When a driver’s attention drifts away from the road for any number of reasons, everyone in the vehicle and on the road surrounding them is at risk. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 individuals passed away in 2019 as a result of distracted driving.
Many people think that distracted driving only refers to texting and driving or looking down at your phone, but that’s not entirely true. It can mean talking on your phone, flipping through songs on the radio, munching on a snack, engaging with passengers in your car, or even checking your GPS. Anything that steals your attention from the road falls under the category of distracted driving.
According to many studies, if you take your eyes off of the road while driving at a speed of 55 mph, it’s the same thing as driving the length of a full football field with your eyes closed, which hopefully you would never do! So much can happen in such a short period of time. A child or animal could potentially run out in the road, the car ahead of you could slam on their brakes or swerve in front of you, or there may be a sharp curve you need to slow down for in order to navigate it. Without dedicating your full attention to the road, you could find yourself in a very tragic or dangerous situation that could have been avoided if you were paying attention.
If you’re driving, other things can wait. If you absolutely must take care of something, find a safe place to pull over. Nothing is ever worth the risk!