April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! NEMT Insurance would like to bring attention to this widespread activity plaguing American roadways. Distracted driving is the leading cause of automobile accidents and results in personal hardships and increased insurance costs.
The common misconception associated with distracted driving is that it only entails the use of mobile phones, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) points out that anything that takes a drivers’ attention off the road while behind the wheel contributes to the problem of distracted driving. Other distractions while driving include: eating & drinking, applying makeup, looking after children & pets, and adjusting the radio.
We at NEMT Insurance would like to provide you with some helpful tips to prevent distracted driving:
- Before you hit the road, plan your route, set your music or radio, make sure all passengers/pet are buckled up and restrained, and most importantly drive sober. Do not get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol, medicine, recreational drugs or exhaustion.
- Once on the roadway, do NOT multi-task. Drivers should be focused on one thing while on the road: DRIVING.
- Use your cell phone only in emergency situations, even then its best to pull over to the shoulder in order to safely make a call. Even hands-free devices can cause distractions that could lead to an accident.
- Avoid eating while driving, drivers should eat before or after their trips. If necessary, they should pull off the road to eat in a safe place.
- Keep your eyes on the road. It is easy to get distracted by items outside your vehicle while driving such as billboards/buildings. It is recommended that drivers move their eyes every two seconds and scan their mirrors every five to eight seconds.
- Groom/Dress at home. Drivers should never be trying to get dressed or doing makeup while driving. Do so at home or once you arrive to your destination to avoid distraction.
- Take a pledge to avoid distracted driving. Make an effort to stick to your pledge that while driving you will not conduct activities that can take your attention away from the road.
- Distracted Driving Prevention Technology. The implementation of distracted driving technologies can help to hold you accountable. Technologies such as SafeDrivePod keep drivers from using their cell phones while the vehicle is in motion. SafeDrivePod is a comprehensive solution for smartphone/tablet use while driving. It ensures that the device cannot be used while driving, but allows for use of hands-free devices to make voice-activated calls.
All of these tips can help drivers to avoid distracted driving actions while behind the wheel ensuring that you, your passengers, other drivers and pedestrians arrive alive.