April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention off of the road. This can include cell phones, navigation devices, other people inside the vehicle, along with general inattentiveness. While it might seem possible to multi-task while driving, it’s important to remember that drivers are in control of heavy and deadly machinery. Would you want a distracted driver heading towards you?
Is technology truly that terrifying?
One of the primary distractions for drivers is technology. Most drivers have probably encountered a driver that was texting, and can remember the sense of discomfort that comes with it. Drivers that text are 23 times more likely to crash than non-texting drivers. For this reason, some of the Florida state senators are pushing for stronger texting and driving laws. The current law makes texting and driving a secondary offense, meaning that drivers must be pulled over for something else first. According to State Sen. Maria Sachs, there have been more citations for improper backing than for the ban on texting while driving! Since this ban isn’t effectively reducing the problem, Florida lawmakers have filed three bills that, if passed, will allow drivers to be pulled over immediately if caught texting on the road. It would also double the fine if the driver was texting while driving through a school zone.
Distracted Driver? What Can You Do?
It’s so easy to get distracted. Everything from rowdy passengers, your friend calling or texting, or running late and trying to frantically get ready along the way are all very real ways that people get distracted every day. Think about the things that could go wrong if you’re distracted and something bad happens. Taking your eyes off the road for a few moments doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it could actually be the single most dangerous thing you’ve done… especially if someone gets hurt or killed as a result. Make a commitment to keep your phone out of sight and reach when you’re behind the wheel. Make rules that you follow — for example, not eating and driving. Give yourself enough time to get ready before you leave so you don’t feel pressured to finish up while you’re driving.
Don’t let yourself be distracted. Drive safe.