April is a great time to refresh the efforts you make to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, making this a great time to teach yourself to overcome the bad habits you developed while the roads were less busy.
The pandemic substantially reduced traffic on our roads, and during that time, unsafe habits were built.
The National Safety Council (NSC) Distracted Driving Survey last year revealed that 2 percent of drivers admittedly drove while distracted because the roads were less congested last year. Data from the NSC also showed that there was an 8 percent increase in traffic accident fatalities from 2019 to 2020, which is a massive increase when considering how much the traffic was reduced for the majority of the year. That represents the largest year over year increase since 1924, when the car was just becoming mainstream. In 2020, 42,060 people were killed in car accidents.
As a result of these terrifying figures, this year’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month is being viewed as particularly important. Safety.org created a special resource for drivers in recognition of this month and how important it is to reign in the dangers related with being distracted while operating a vehicle.
Motorists are reminded to review their own habits this Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The resource reminds drivers of the types of habits that are considered to be distracted driving, as well as the types of consequences associated with those behaviors. The consequences include everything from placing the health and lives of themselves, their passengers, and people not within the vehicle at risk, damaging the car, damaging property, fines, and even increased auto insurance rates.
While most (68 percent) distracted driving is in the form of smartphone use – particularly activities like phone calls and text messaging – it is not the only form. Eating and smoking comprise 32 percent of distracted driving cases nationwide.
There is currently a nationwide ban on using a cell phone while driving. The resource cited vice president of Insurance and Government Affairs Ryan McMahon at Cambridge Mobile Telematics, who said that distracted driving laws are in place in every state, though not every state makes an effort to remind its drivers of how serious the consequences may be.
Therefore, this Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is important to take the initiative to consult your own state’s driving laws to learn about bans, penalties and changes you should know. It is also a good idea to check out the Safety.org resource for important and yet very simple tips every driver should use to avoid becoming a hazard behind the wheel.