April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so organizations and businesses are raising awareness for the thousands of preventable deaths each year. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), distracted driving was the cause for 3,142 deaths in 2019. While driving and being on your phone is one of the most common issues, it is not the only definition of distracted driving. An action that takes the driver’s attention away from the road can be eating, drinking, talking to others in the car, changing the radio station, being tired, setting up the GPS, and so much more. It’s important to keep your eyes on the road at all times and to avoid having distractions in the car with you.
You can do this by:
- Putting your cell phone away while driving. In Minnesota, having your phone in your hand for any instance can result in a ticket due to the Hands-Free Law. If you need to make an emergency call, pull over in a safe area and park to use your phone.
- Being aware of the distraction of other passengers and their level of activity. A packed car can lead to a lot of noise and movement, which can take the driver’s attention away from the road.
- Avoiding eating while driving. Drinking can also take your attention away from the road, so have a lidded but easy-to-access drink.
- Not multi-tasking. Other distracting activities include applying makeup, searching for a radio station, or setting up your GPS, which all take your attention away from the road.
- Not letting pets roam around the cabin. It’s not safe for them in the event of an accident either, so make sure they’re in a pet car seat or leashed.
- Getting a good amount of sleep before you get behind the wheel—especially when you’re going on a long trip. Being tired slows down your reaction time, affects your focus on the road, and can lead to falling asleep at the wheel.
Even taking your eyes away from the road for a few seconds can be hazardous due to how quickly a vehicle moves down the road. Be aware of ways you might be distracting yourself while behind the wheel and try to correct the behavior. Superior Collision Center has a location in Eagan, MN and takes care of all your auto body repair needs.