April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time to rediscover the importance of driving without distractions, and putting all of a driver’s attention where it is meant to be-on the road.

According to the National Safety Council, or NSC, nine people a day are killed crashes involving distracted driving: crashes that didn’t have to occur. That number ultimately ends up being thousands of people injured or killed each year. However, utilizing just a few simple steps can greatly reduce the likelihood of a crash occurring. 

In 2021, distracted driving killed 3,522 people, according to the United States Department of Transportation. Therefore, April is a good time to take responsibility for the choices made while driving and revisit all the ways to drive safely and responsibly.

The National Safety Council is an organization with a focus on eliminating the leading causes of preventable death and injury.

The NSC promotes its message of eliminating distracted driving each year during April and offers free resources on its website to help spread the important message.

There are Three main types of driving distractions:

  1. Visual. Taking your eyes off the road, even for one second, can end in a crash. Texting, looking at pictures, browsing the internet, turning around in your seat to look at children or other passengers in a back seat or glancing at any object not related to the road can cause an accident.
  2. Manual. Taking your hands off the steering wheel for any activity for any amount of time. Holding a cell phone, drinking, eating, smoking, applying makeup or looking for something in the car are all possible manual distractions.
  3. Cognitive. Taking your mind off the road. Simply talking to another passenger in the vehicle, having a crying baby in the car, talking on the phone or daydreaming can end in a fatality. 

However, there are a variety of ways to avoid distractions.

To ensure a safer drive to a destination, designate a passenger as the ‘designated texter’ who responds to any calls or messages. If you are alone and need to send a text or make or receive a call, pull over and park in a safe location. One way to avoid temptation to use a cell phone while driving is to put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box or back seat of the vehicle until arrival at the destination. 

Take Action!

Ask your friends, coworkers, and family to take part in a pledge to not drive distracted. Be part of the solution.