Cell phones, navigation screens, car stereos or even eating while behind the wheel…they all add up to distracted driving, and that can lead to serious accidents or fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
The NHTSA offers suggestions for actions we can all take right now to help keep our roads safer:
- Encourage teens to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.
- Parents first have to lead by example—by never driving distracted—as well as have a talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Remind your teen driver that in States with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.
Employers can have a significant impact on driving behavior by making distracted driving awareness part of the company’s workplace safety culture:
- Establish company policies regarding cell phone use in company vehicles.
- Make distracted driving the topic of your next safety committee meeting.
- Adding distracted driving awareness courses to your ongoing workplace safety training schedule.
This course tells the story of a distracted driving accident that leaves an impactful and lasting message with its viewers. Based on real-life situations, the course shows how one wrong decision can drastically change the lives of everyone involved. This important story compels drivers of all ages to realize that, when you are behind the wheel, there is nothing that takes precedence over operating the vehicle safely.
In this course, viewers will become familiar with common driver distractions like cell phone driving, from creating unsafe situations on the road and how to prevent them from affecting their safe driving practices. Topics covered include safe and effective use of comfort controls, GPS technology and cell phones.
Download this helpful infographic on distracted driving that you can hand out at your next safety meeting or post in your company break room.