According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,166 people in the United States in 2017. That equaled 8.5 percent of all fatalities that year, although many cases of distracted driving may go unreported.
Laws have recently been passed to penalize drivers for using their phones behind the wheel, but so many of us fail to heed the warning.
While texting and driving is one of the most common distractions, several other factors occur too. We’ve all been guilty of fidgeting with the radio, glancing down at a phone notification from time to time, or maybe snacking while driving—even something as menial as adjusting your GPS could cause a distraction.
It’s impossible to avoid every single distraction, but you can choose to practice simple safety measures each day. Use common sense and be mindful of others you’re with whom you’re sharing the road.
As children are returning to school and school buses begin making daily routes around 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, it is especially important to stay focused while on the road. The call can wait until the vehicle has stopped moving.
So many of us get comfortable and confident enough behind the wheel that we begin to drive carelessly. It can be a challenge not to fidget on long trips, especially on the dull commute to and from work each day—accidents are highly likely to occur on roads the driver is most familiar with.
When you’re out on the road each day, remember the responsibility that comes along with retaining your driver’s license. Who knows how many accidents you have prevented by simply being alert and refraining from as many distracting factors as you can.