There are many national days, weeks, or months that observe or honor special causes, things, or people that it can be numbing when extremely important ones come around. April happens to be Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we hope you pay attention here long enough to read, appreciate why, or maybe even just remind yourself how important it is to focus solely on driving when behind the wheel.
ANYTHING that takes your attention away from driving is considered a distraction. There are four categories of driving distractions:
- VISUAL – Distractions that divert your eyes from the road (pedestrians, collisions, road signs, etc.)
- PHYSICAL – Distractions that cause you to take your hand(s) off the wheel (drinking, eating, tuning the radio, etc.)
- COGNITIVE – Distractions that cause you to think about something other than driving carefully (daydreaming, multitasking, etc.)
- AUDITORY – Distractions that divert your attention away from the road (listening to music, talking to passengers, etc.)
According to the CDC, nine people in the U.S. are killed every day in crashes that involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is not considered to be from a medical condition, alcohol or drug use, or fatigue. And while there are many other factors that can lead to a driving accident, such as poor road or weather conditions, distracted driving is a common – and PREVENTABLE – cause of accidents. About 391,000 injuries and 3,450 deaths are attributed to distracted driving each year.
Yes, we are sure you’re a good driver… but even the best and most experienced drivers get distracted. For instance, did you know that the number of deaths from distracted driving was NOT a bunch of teenagers who were texting or had little experience, but were drivers in fatal crashes from the below TOP 3 age ranges:
- 25-34 years old
- 35-44 years old
- 45-54 years old
As an organization focused on safety, Helmkamp takes great care to prevent accidents of all types. Looking out for the safety of our employees while they’re driving, other drivers, and well, anyone, is a great concern of ours. So, before we lose your attention to something else, take these tips with you! Whenever you get behind the wheel:
- Put away your phone
- Plan your trip before you leave
- Store possessions appropriately
- Secure yourself and passengers
- Don’t fumble with your playlist
- Avoid multitasking
- Stay focused
We can all do our part in making it a “Happy Distracted Driving Awareness Month” by driving safely and eliminating distractions. Was that a squirrel?... ha, just testing you.