June is National Safety Month
June is the start of the summer travel season. Have you ever driven while on the phone, changing the radio station, or yelling at others in the car? If you have you are not alone, these are just some of the distractions we face everyday while driving. One out of every five car accidents are caused by some kind of distraction. A distraction is anything that makes you take your eyes off the road, your mind off the road, or your hands off the wheel.
More examples of distractions include: eating, electronic devices, personal grooming, drunk driving, or being angry at the way others drive. Distractions can turn an ordinary car ride into a serious problem in seconds. Just think, every 10 seconds someone is injured in a car accident and taken to a hospital. Lowering the number of distractions while you are driving could lower the number of accidents and save lives.
In 2016 distracted driving claimed at least 3450 lives. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration leads the fight nationally against distracted driving by educating Americans about its dangers and partnering with the States and local police to enforce laws against distracted driving that help keep us safe.
The NHTSA along with their partnership with the States and local police, are increasing their efforts on distracted driving and other risky driving behaviors. The States determine laws affecting distracted driving, but NHTSA provides Federal investments in the locally driven strategies that address the States’ specific needs. One of the highlights of this relationship came during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which paired a national advertising campaign with a law enforcement crackdown called U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
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.