Have you ever been distracted while driving? Statistically, many of us are guilty of distracted driving at some point in our life. In the past seven years, nearly 10% of all fatalities and 15% of automobile accident injuries were caused by distracted driving. Whether you’re talking on a cell phone, changing the radio station or even carrying on a conversation with a passenger while operating a vehicle, you are putting your (and others) life at risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention away from the task of safe driving. You won’t be surprised to learn that in this day and age, the biggest distracted driving offenders involve different forms of technology. Texting, reading emails, talking on the phone and using navigation while driving are all very risky things to do while operating a vehicle. On average, 5 seconds is the amount of time it takes to send a text. If you were driving 55 miles per hour while sending a text, that would be equivalent to covering the length of a football field with your eyes off the road.
Year after year, the following forms of distracted driving often result in car accidents (and sometimes death):
- Talking or texting on a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers in the vehicle
- Fiddling with the infotainment system (radio, navigation, entertainment, etc.)
- Applying makeup/grooming
- Attending to the needs of kids in the car
How Can I Avoid Distracted Driving?
Road construction, malfunctioning traffic lights or even sun glare can also pose the risk of automobile accidents. However, you should be mindful of the hazardous distractions listed above and avoid them at all times while driving. Resist the temptation to check your phone when it rings and dings; set your navigation or entertainment preferences before you put your vehicle in drive; hand your children their snacks and toys as you buckle them in the car; save your food and drink refreshments for after you arrive at your destination.
Driving distractions not only compromise the safety of the driver, but all of the passengers, people in other vehicles and even nearby pedestrians. Sending a text, taking a sip of your latte or applying mascara are never more pertinent than keeping you and the people in your surroundings safe. Various laws have been passed making it illegal to text while driving in most states.
If the thought of breaking the law and being fined for texting while driving does not scare you enough, follow these tips to ensure you won’t be distracted by your phone:
- If you must send/read a text, pull over to a safe location and park your car first
- Designate a passenger in your vehicle to be the official texter while you’re driving
- Keep your phone in the backseat or trunk if you’re too tempted to sneak a peek at your phone while driving
- Utilize your car and/or phone’s Do Not Disturb functions that disable the use of your phone while your vehicle is in drive
Auto Insurance: Real Service, Real Savings
Ross Insurance Agency, a home, life and automobile insurance team in Lancaster, PA supports and encourages safe driving practices. With more than 50 years’ experience insuring a variety of types of vehicles, Ross Insurance Agency is committed to getting our clients the most affordable and reliable automobile insurance coverage possible.
We will take the time to get to know your unique insurance needs and evaluate your current auto insurance to make sure you have the best coverage, for the best price.