April is Distracted Driving Month across our great country. Advocates, educators, and law enforcement agencies are taking great measures to get the message across that no distraction is worth the risk of getting into a fatal car crash.
High schools sponsor mock crash scenes to show teenage drivers the harsh realities of a crash. Dead for a Day events provide students with a tangible object lesson to grasp the number of lives that are stolen away tragically in teen car crashes. Billboards, banners, and pledges plead the importance of avoiding distractions when behind the wheel.
According to Drive Smart Virginia, eight out of ten accidents are related to distracted driving in some way. In a time when most of us go through life multi-tasking everything we do, it’s too easy to think we can eat a sandwich, call a friend, and drive our vehicles all at the same time. However, common sense—and research—shows that isn’t the case. Our ability to fully concentrate on any single task becomes greatly decreased with each new task that gets added to the mix.
Too many times, serious car, truck, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents are caused when motorists are distracted in some way. In most of these cases, the crash was totally preventable. Just taking a few moments to be intentional with your driving can help reduce your chances of getting in an accident.
- Make your music selection before you start traveling down the road.
- Finish all cell phone conversations before you drive, or invest in a hands-free device to allow you to talk on the phone (if you absolutely must).
- Finish eating and drinking before you leave, wait until you arrive at your destination to eat, or have another licensed driver in your vehicle drive while you eat.
- Plan your route in advance or have another passenger help you navigate the directions when traveling someplace unfamiliar.
- Go over the rules of safety in the car with any passengers who might become unruly during the drive.
Having a safe drive free of distractions can be easier than you think. By being intentional with your time, and examining your priorities before driving, you can reduce your likelihood of getting into a car crash.
Want to help spread the word about Distracted Driving Month this April? Tell your friends about this story. You can also sign an online pledge with Drive Smart Virginia, vowing to drive distraction-free. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. Stay safe this month, and let your experiences stay with you throughout the remainder of the year.