We've heard the figures before:
Driving at 55 mph on the highway, taking your eyes off the road to send just a single text makes you miss the equivalent of an entire football field.
Think for a second just how big that is. In the blink of an eye, you're hurtling through a hundred yards of unknown highway and hidden dangers.
This weekend we learned the driver of the pickup that killed 13 people admitted that he had been texting moments before he collided with the church bus. Witnesses shared the driver had been veering off the road into oncoming traffic at least 15 minutes prior. The Sheriff’s Dept. obtained footage from a witness to the incident.
Thousands die every year from distracted driving in accidents that could have easily been prevented. In 2015, 3,477 lives were claimed by distracted drivers and 391,000 were injured.
Modern technology makes it so easy to talk on the phone, send texts, type emails, and update social media from behind the wheel. It's no coincidence that these activities all lead to a higher risk of winding up in a crash.
Texting seems to be the most obvious distraction, but there are numerous others passengers, car stereo, GPS just to name a few. Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving.
The National Safety Council has made April Distracted Driving Awareness Month bring attention to what can only be called an epidemic of poor driving behaviors.
Here are just a few of the NSC's materials available for Distracted Driving Awareness Month:
- The Cell-Free Driver Pledge
- Employer Cell Phone Policy Kit
- Cummins Case Study
- Distracted Driving Online Course
Remember, distracted driving accidents are preventable. All you have to do is focus on driving—not texting, calling, listening to music, or talking. Just driving. Help do your part, and together we can eliminate these pointless and avoidable tragedies.