My phone rings, I get a text, I’m drinking a coffee or eating a snack on the way to my next meeting. How can I not be distracted while driving?
I agree there are so many potential distractions while driving, but the risks of driving distracted are real and eye opening.
Would you ever consider driving blind folded the length of a football field at 55mph? Of course not! But answering a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds and that is the equivalent of doing just that.
This is the month where we all change behavior for your safety and the safety of others around you when you drive.
The National Safety Council observes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. They want you to put safety first, as do all of us at Jaffarian Automotive and “Take Back Your Drive.” I know it’s tempting to look at your phone when you hear the beep that a new text or email has arrived. But the risks are too high and they are real. What text is worth potentially causing an accident or hitting a pedestrian? Consider using Bluetooth technology to safely answer your phone while driving. Not sure how to use it? Stop by and we will help you. Keep in mind that in New Hampshire, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone and in Massachusetts it is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cell phone while driving. All New England states ban texting and driving.
One call, one text, one email can change everything. Every time you take your eyes off the road, you risk your own safety and the safety of those around you. I’ve had people tell me their “it almost happened to me” tales that taught them a valuable lesson. One woman looked down at a text and almost hit a woman walking on the side of the road.
Another customer told me they looked down to dial a number and ended up rear-ending someone at a rotary. That accident will be on her driving record for the next seven years—and comes with an increase in insurance.
Allstate Insurance produced a texting simulator to show just how dangerous texting is in this video. They are encouraging everyone who watches it to take the family pledge and not be a distracted driver.
April is the month to start changing habits when behind the wheel. There are many ways people drive distracted. I’ve seen people reading newspapers draped over the steering wheel, women putting on lipstick, and men shaving. Commit to your own safety and the safety of others by taking the pledge to change your behavior when you are behind the wheel. Technology is wonderful, but the hard facts remind us that technology has its place and the combination of cell phone technology with a steering wheel is a dangerous combination. Here are the facts:
• The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
• Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
• 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
• Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
• Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
Starting now, commit to not driving distracted. Share this information with others. This is not a teenager issue. This is a rampant issue. Your life, the life of your passengers and the lives of others around you are in your hands. From all of us at Jaffarian, let’s commit to driving responsibly.