Spring is in full swing, and summer is so close you can almost taste the 80 degree weather and afternoon thunderstorms. The month of April is the light at the end of winter’s cold and snowy tunnel. Along with being the gateway month into warm summery weather, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month as declared by the National Safety Council. While technological improvements have evolved humanity to new heights, many interactions with technology can be very distracting to drivers. There are many situations to be aware of that distract drivers: texting, changing music, and talking on the phone.
Eliminate the Distractions
We’ve all been there. We know the feeling when we feel the buzz in our pockets to see that our text conversations finally got a reply. Whether it’s from your friend, significant other, or family member, you want to respond immediately no matter the situation. While pulling out your phone to send a quick text may seem like second nature to us at this point, any action on our phone can take us out of the moment and leave us unaware of what is happening on the road around us. According to the Center of Disease Control, 8 drivers are killed and 1,161 are injured every day from driving distracted in America.
While it may seem harmless because your eyes are still on the road, speaking over the phone can be just as distracting as texting or changing radio stations. With your mind distracted from the present moment of maneuvering a multi-ton vehicle at high speeds, you can be a source of danger on the road to other drivers as well as yourself. Even driving with hands-free technology can be dangerous. Do yourself a favor and hold off on all phone calls until you've reached your destination. If the call is urgent and you're in a safe place to do so, pull over to the side of the road to take care of business.
Freshen up on Your Driving Skills
We all need to freshen up on our driving skills every once in a while. Local driving schools offer different skills courses that use cones and signs to simulate different hazards and driving patterns. These courses reinforce important driving skills that everyone should have to stay safe.
Additionally, we can start making a difference in the habits of the younger population by ensuring they are equipped with proper driver training from day one. In-classroom instruction from a local driving school is the best way for new drivers to learn initial skills and good habits while driving. With a number of videos and worksheets that help reiterate the information over and over the brain is able to grasp and retain the information much better. For a local option, there are a number of Littleton drivers ed options that make students safe, defensive and focused drivers.
At the end of the day, you can make a significant difference out on the road by staying focused. This April, make it a point to take note of the different things that distract you while driving and eliminate these habits. Everyone out there will be better off because of it. Take the pledge today to be a more attentive driver.