April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

23636598276_6ab132077d_bPut safety first and take back your drive. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from driving. Whether your eyes are off the road, hands are off the wheel or mind is off driving, all are considered distracted driving. Not only does distracting driving endanger you, but it also endangers your passengers, bystanders and other drivers. There are many types of distractions:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smart phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting your radio

Distracted driving takes many forms, but cell phone use is at the top. There is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving. Because texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention, it is the most alarming distraction. Research shows that the brain remains distracted for 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text. Currently, 46 states ban text messaging for all drivers.

Some people don’t know how dangerous distracted driving really is. And many others think they can defy the odds. If you don’t already think distracted driving is a problem, take a moment to learn more with these facts:

  • In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • 10% of all drivers 15 – 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
  • 27% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were in their 20s. And 38% of those people were using cell phones as the distraction.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, around 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving.
  • About 33% of drivers have admitted to texting and driving. 75% of those people have also said that they see others do it.
  • If you text while you’re behind the wheel, you’re 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-distracted driver.
  • Over half a million people are injured each year from distracted driving.

For more statistics, read this survey from Erie Insurance. Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on roadways. Take the pledge to drive free and turn your cell phone off when you’re driving. Together we can stop distracted driving.