April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Distracted driving is doing anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving. Any time your mind and/or eyes are taken from the road, you’re technically distracted, which means an increase in the risk of an accident.
Snap chatting, changing the music, eating your ice cream- these are all forms of distracted driving
Keeping your eyes on the road and focusing in order to keep you, your passengers and all others on the road including pedestrians is your job as a driver. Being aware and not partaking in these risky driving behaviors is key to keeping everyone safe.
Is it Illegal to use your phone while driving?
As of 2019 the Insurance for Highway Safety reports that there is a hand-help cell phone use ban in 16 states including District of Colombia, with 47 states banning text messaging for all drivers. So no, the answer is not 100% yes, it really depends what state you live in and while you should check your state laws, its smart to just not use your phone while driving.
Texting while driving is the most common form of distracted driving and the most dangerous. People now a days fall into the habit of simply sending a quick text, but then your eyes are not on the road for one second and anything can happen. Your hand is off of the steering wheel, your focused on what your typing and your attention is not on driving anymore. Five seconds at 55 mph of taking your eyes off the road gets you about 100 yards which is the length of a football field!!!! That is a decent amount of distance that you are not paying attention to. The National Safety Council reports that 1 put of every 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting and driving. And also texting and driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident that drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during the day.
Luckily there are ways to prevent you from texting/using your phone while driving. There are many different kind of apps you can get to block phone calls, texts and all other sorts of different options.
Other forms of distracted driving
Going through your music, the radio if your playing it off of your phone that is also considered distracting! To go about this a safer way maybe waiting until you are at a red light or pulling over in some situations, maybe try having a playlist ready, setting presets to stations so you only have to hit one button.
Checking social media like Instagram, snapchat, Facebook and twitter. Just because you have the convenience of checking these at any hour of the day doesn’t mean you should do this while driving!
EATING is also very distracting behind the wheel along with:
- Taking selfies
- Talking on the phone
- Drinking coffee or another beverage
- Putting on makeup
- Using an app
- Loud music
- Fill in the blank! What else do you do that could be considered distracting?
For starters, you getting into an at-fault accident will almost always make your insurance premium go up, simply because your insurance company now deems you a higher-risk driver. Distracted driving is no exception. Even if you avoid an accident but you get a ticket for distracted driving, you’re susceptible to those increases in insurance. If you’re guilty of distracted driving, an insurance company will consider you a high-risk driver (meaning you’re more likely to file a claim due to an accident) and they’ll set your premiums higher.