April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Though the majority of drivers probably don’t need statistics to realize how dangerous distracted driving is, a campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get everybody involved in the efforts to save lives by ending distracted driving, published some alarming statistics that we must share:




drivers using electronic devices while driving during the day

people injured by distracted driving in 2015

people killed by distracted driving in 2015

More statistics on distracted driving and other risky driving behaviors are available here.

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” Texting and driving is “the most alarming distraction,” it added, “sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” A recent study from Cambridge Mobile Telematics shows that distracted driving occurs during 52 percent, or more than half, of all trips that resulted in a crash, with an average distraction duration of 135 seconds. So many things could happen when your eyes are off the road for over two minutes!

Distracted Driving Laws

Smartphones are to be blamed in many cases. Currently, 46 states, District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S Virgin Islands ban texting while driving, and “of the four states without an all driver texting ban: two prohibit text messaging by novice drivers,” according to GHSA. No state bans all cell phone use while driving, but 38 states and D.C. ban cell phone use by novice or teen drivers, 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers. Other driving distractions, such as applying makeup, eating and drinking, or even daydreaming behind the wheel, are not strictly prohibited by law. Beyond following the rules, it’s really up to drivers to do the right thing to protect themselves and others, reduce their chance of causing or being a victim of a traffic accident, which is extremely costly in all aspects. 

What You Can Do

There are plenty of things you can do to stop distracted driving. Put your phone in silent or keep it in a bag far away from your hand reach. If you absolutely have to answer your phone while driving, there are many apps out there that allow you to use your phone hands free, such as Cellcontrol, SafeDrive, or Drivesafe.ly. If you have passenger(s), let them help you navigate, respond to your phone, or play music. If you see somebody else distracted while driving, say something! National Safety Council offers more solutions here.

If you feel like getting yourself equipped with safe driving techniques, check out ClickSafety's extensive library of 300+ online safety training: 


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