Pay attention to the road
On average 9 people die in the United States every day due to distracted driving.
Beyond those nine people every day, are the families, friends and loved ones impacted by these deaths. The children who will lose parents, the students who lose a classmate, the parents who are forced to bury a child.
Nine people die each day because someone couldn’t wait to read that text. Nine people die each day because they were fumbling to find the right song on their playlist. Nine people die each day because they care more about their phone conversation than paying attention to the road.
Nine people every day comes out to 3,142 broken lives and families every year, a number that grows more tragic considering that every one of those deaths was 100% preventable. To these there are many thousands more who skirted death, but amassed hospital stays and incurred expensive auto repairs through crashes related to distracted driving. According to the CDC, 400,000 motorists were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving.
It is no surprise that mobile phone use and in-vehicle technology rank at the top of among dangerous distracted driving activities. Their inherent danger while driving is well documented and well known. AAA research shows that 96% of drivers believe typing or reading on a and 29% admitting to typing while driving.
The message of putting down devices and paying attention to the road while driving is far from being a new one. As long as there have been motorists there have been drivers whose distracted nature made them a danger to themselves and others. It would be nice to say that people were starting to pay attention to the message and that the numbers were going down, but that is not the case. Between 2018 and 2019 (the most current year data is available for), the number of distracted driving deaths increased by 10%.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Take time this month and throughout the year to reinforce safe driving practices. Remember the basics. Put your phone away. Plan your route ahead of time. Pull over to make a phone call or to send or receive a message. Beyond that, it is important to not set up others to be distracted, to be a good passenger and supportive of the driver. Being supportive of drivers is also important for people who aren’t in the car at all. If you know someone is driving, avoid calling or texting them and instead let them focus on the road and getting to their destination safely.
Nine people die each day on America’s roads because of distracted driving. That number is nine people too many.
hand-held cellphone while driving to be very or extremely dangerous. Yet this does not prevent 39% of drivers from admitting to reading on their phone while driving