April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Although praised in the workplace, multi-tasking can have devastating repercussions when mixed with driving on Michigan roadways. As traffic increases, it is critical that drivers focus on their surroundings to avoid a crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving occurs when an activity unrelated to the road diverts a driver’s attention. Texting is a distraction that has captured the headlines in recent years. Statistics show that the average text requires a driver to take their eyes from the road for an average of five seconds. If the car is traveling at 55 mph, this is similar to driving the length of a football field without looking.

Esurance reports that there are different forms of distractions. When the driver must remove one or both hands from the wheel, it is a manual distraction. Looking away from the road and focusing elsewhere is a visual distraction. Talking with a passenger or allowing a preoccupation with non-driving related issues is a cognitive distraction. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, an ideal time to commit to safer operating practices when behind the wheel. Here are some tips for ways you can stay focused and end distracted driving:

  • Secure children and pets properly before driving
  • Turn off the cell phone
  • Use a hands-free device in emergencies
  • Set the music preference before leaving home
  • Do not eat or drink while driving
  • Program the GPS before heading out on a trip

Driving and multi-tasking is a dangerous combination. Although it may seem natural to make use of the time to grab a snack, set the radio or make a call, it could be deadly. Avoid the temptation, focus on the road and arrive alive.