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Distracted Driving Awareness

Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects all of us. The latest statistics from the National Safety Council show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. 

We can work to make 100% of these deaths more preventable by ending distractions from cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features.  These all pose a great threat to our safety when traveling on the roads. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever. 

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month which is a united effort to identify and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. 

Distracted Driving Statistics That Will Change Your Mind Behind the Wheel

  1. As we speak, during daylight hours, RIGHT NOW! There are approximately 660,000 drivers that are using cell phones while driving.  Cell phones are a huge problem but this doesn't scratch the total number of drivers eating, changing music, reaching in the back seat or riding with their dog on their lap. 
  2. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,400 people were killed and another 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.  Let that sink in! 
  3. Multitasking is hazardous to your health.  When you try to do two things at once, your brain is forced to shift focus.  Check out the likelihood of a car accident while performing common activities such as reaching or texting.  Our partner company, Travelers shares these Distracted Driving Statistics which are astounding! 

 

So what does this mean for you as a parent, the business owner, a passenger or as the "responsible" and liable party?
Parents already understand the dangers of teenagers behind the wheel but did you know that drivers under 24 years of age represent a disproportionately high percentage of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes?  This is due to texting, scrolling through Facebook or Snapchat, using the navigation or simply changing music.  Set examples for your young drivers because they can be some of the greatest messengers for delivering safe driving practices.

So how is this affecting you as an individual?  Besides the obvious reason, possible loss of life and injuring others; the domino effect of repairing your vehicle, possible citations and ultimately increased insurance costs. Michigan has a unique auto insurance system which is already a huge investment annually for most drivers.  Increased accidents will only continue to lead to a raise in pricing.

Finally, business owners are open to many of the liabilities and costs as a result of distracted driving accidents.  Again, the most obvious reason for safe driving is to prevent the loss of life or injury. In addition, these accidents result in decreased production, huge liability exposures, revenue losses, vehicle down time, and increased business auto and workers compensation expenses.  Put guidelines in place for your employees to prevent distracted driving using a sample Cell Phone Policy Kit from National Safety Council.

 


Some other great resources to help us all keep our eyes on the road and just drive!


Pledge to be an Attentive Driver

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  You can take the pledge to "Just Drive" and help us make the roads safer for everyone.  Join us and take the pledge here.


A Lifesaving Checklist
Be part of the solution, Just Drive.

Thousands have died in vehicle crashes because drivers are distracted by cell phone conversations, emails, text messages and social media. Do not become a statistic. Here are some tips to follow from the National Safety Council:

  • First and foremost, turn off your cell phone.  There is no safe way to make a call while driving - not even hands-free.
  • Send and read text messages and emails before you start driving.
  • If you're going on a longer drive, schedule breaks to stop, park safely, and respond to messages.
  • Put your destination into your GPS so you do not need to touch it while the car is moving.
  • Social media can wait. No update, tweet or video is worth a life.
  • Do not call or text friends or family if you know they are driving.

 

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