April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

It has been urged that motorists put down their phone and avoid distractions while driving, especially during April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 

Every day we hear about distracted driving killing people– and yet we never see any change in behaviour because of it. Distracted driving is anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road, potentially putting motorists and others in harm’s way. 

With April serving as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s a united effort to recognize the dangers of and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. 

Just focus on driving – and leave the distractions behind. 

Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic 

Cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies all pose a threat to our safety. They can steal our attention for that split second that has the potential to change our lives forever. 

  • According to AAA in the United States, 35% of people reported sending a text or email while driving and nearly half reported making a phone call.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • Distracted driving continues to be the No. 1 cause of accidents in Ontario. 

What ‘The Risk Institute’ are doing about it  

The Risk Institute is a new initiative at The Ohio State University that just launched several projects and research to help predict and curb the deadly behaviours behind distracted driving.

The Risk Institute will study: 

  • Drivers and what can be done to combat risky actions,
  • The role cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies that pose a threat to safety,
  • How insurance discounts for good driving behaviour can help,
  • How confidence tends to play a deadly role with distracted behaviours behind the wheel.

“Every day you hear distracted driving is killing people, and it is, but nothing is being done to figure out how to stop it,” Phil Renaud, executive director of The Risk Institute, said in a statement. “That’s why we started this initiative — to create actionable change.”

What you can do to help curb distracted driving 

  • Set a good example: 

A lot of kids follow their parents’ footsteps, so if they see their parents texting they might think it’s OK. 

  • Throw the phone away:  

Either put it on airplane mode or tuck it away in a purse or a pocket so there aren’t any temptations to look at it. 

  • Avoid daydreaming 

Do you ever feel like you’re on autopilot while driving and don’t remember how you reached your destination? It’s more common than you think. Take stock of where you are and be so immersed in the moment that you’re aware of everything happening around you. Be entirely there. 

  • Put your music on shuffle  

Distracted driving isn’t just limited to the use of a cell phone. Adjusting the music is another temptation that steal a drivers’ attention for a few seconds. Try putting it on an automatic playlist so you don’t change it.  

We can all do our part to keep the roads safer. 

If you have been in an accident due to a distracted driver, call Harris Law to set up a free consultation

We represent accident victims and their families. We do not represent insurance companies. We are committed to helping injured people get the support they need immediately following a severe injury and during the long process of recovery. 

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