It seems timely given that April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, to once again reinforce the importance of avoiding this dangerous activity. Below are eight ways to prevent distracted driving.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than two-thirds of the respondents to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported talking on a cell phone while driving during the previous 30 days.
Cell phones are the number one distraction for drivers, and, not surprisingly, cause drivers to miss half of the information in their driving environment.
So what can we do to curb this growing and dangerous trend?
1. Spread the word. Remind your friends and family not to engage in distracted behaviors (talking, texting, eating, applying makeup, etc.) while driving. Even a hands-free device doesn’t solve the problem – just the conversation can be equally distractive.
2. Get involved. New Jersey’s People Against Distracted Driving (PADD) was created in honor of 18-year-old Nikki Kellenyi, killed in 2012 as a result of a distracted driver. PADD offers ways to help the cause, like encouraging your high school to create campaigns to address teen driving safety.
3. Take a pledge. By taking a personal pledge not to text and drive, especially if you share it via social media, you will be making a public promise to yourself and loved ones.
4. Keep your thumbs and tongue tied. Download a mobile app like Thumb Tied, which disables incoming texts, calls, emails, and other notifications while your car is in motion.
5. Be a safer driver. Register a teen driver in your life for a half-day defensive driving session with Drive Safer. Not only will this provide real-life driver training, but it may also qualify your teen for a Defensive Driving discount on your NJM New Jersey auto policy.
6. Make a safe call. If you need to make a phone call, carefully pull your car over to the side of the road first. It might take you longer to reach your destination, but you’ll increase your chances of arriving safely.
7. Don’t let Fido in the front. Pets can easily distract drivers when in the front seat of the car. Attempting to restrain the dog yourself will take your concentration off the road for a dangerous amount of time. For best results, keep your pet in a carrier or harness in the back seat.
8. Turn the music down. Research has shown that listening to music at a lower volume is less distracting to drivers.
Be sure to share these tips to prevent others from engaging in distracted driving.