Heads Up! It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month
For most of us, driving is such a routine task that it becomes tempting to respond to that text, answer that call from a buddy, dig around in the backseat for that missing bottle of water or eat that fast food meal while in traffic. But the reality is that distracted driving is one of the most life-threatening dangers on the road — both for you and for the people around you.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed in the U.S. in 2020 as a result of distracted driving. “Texting is the most alarming distraction,” the NHTSA says on its website. “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
Make the Road Your Focus
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month — a great opportunity for all of us at CoolSys to evaluate our driving habits and recommit to safety on the road. Here are a few tips to get you started as you consider what you can do to eliminate distractions while you drive:
- Prepare for your drive before you start your vehicle. Set your GPS and adjust your climate control, radio/stereo and seat.
- Before you head out, stow anything that might roll around and distract you as you drive.
- Engage yourself fully with driving: Actively scan the road ahead, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists and keep an eye on your rearview mirror. Try to move your eyes every two seconds and scan your mirrors every five to eight seconds.
- Limit cellphone use to true emergencies — and even then, pull off the road before you make or take a call or respond to a text.
- Don’t use voice-activated or hands-free devices. Even though this technology appears to be a safe alternative to other distractions, it still takes your focus off your driving. It is impossible to maintain 100% focus on the road while you take part in even a hands-free phone conversation.
- Avoid eating while driving — especially messy foods that might drip or slide and cause you to take your eyes off the road.
- Never try to put on or remove clothing while you’re driving.
- If you find yourself nodding off while driving, pull over and take a nap or ask another licensed driver in the vehicle to take over. Drowsy driving plays a role in more than 100,000 crashes a year, according to the NHTSA.
Our top priority at CoolSys is to ensure that every member of our team arrives home safe and sound to their loved ones at the end of each workday. You can improve your chances of a safe and successful drive by assessing your own driving routine, making adjustments and building safe-driving habits.