Distracted Driving: It’s Not Just Talking and Texting on Your Phone
More than 2,800 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2018, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. AAA believes no life is worth losing to distraction. Focused drivers save lives. AAA urges all drivers to pay attention and focus on the road during National Distracted Driving Awareness month and all year long.
Distractions include more than texting. Anything that diverts attention from driving — eating and drinking, adjusting the navigation, picking your next podcast, talking to other passengers or talking or texting on the phone — can result in a fatal injury.
Despite what some drivers may think, hands-free is not risk-free. Even with your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, you are not safe unless your mind focuses on the drive. Looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk of a crash.
Here are AAA’s Top Tips to Avoid Distractions While Driving:
• Prepare for your drive. Set vehicle systems like GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time. And please, finish dressing and personal grooming at home — before you get on the road.
• Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated. The consequences of alcoholimpaired driving and texting while driving could be the same: Put aside electronic distractions and never use text messaging, email, video games or internet functions, including those built into the vehicle, while driving. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode or activate call/text blocking features.
• Stay focused. Do not let anything divert your attention. Be sure to actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. If you have passengers, enlist their help as a “designated texter.” Ask them to answer your calls, respond to texts and program the navigation.
For more information, visit AAA.com/dontdrivedistracted.