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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During this time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) runs an enforcement campaign to call attention to the consequences of distracted driving.

As part of this campaign, law enforcement will be increasingly looking for drivers who are violating state regulations.

What You Need To Know

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic with fatal consequences. Consider the following facts:

  • Distracted driving is involved in nearly 10% of all U.S. traffic fatalities on average each year.
  • Nearly 16,000 U.S. drivers died in distraction-affected crashes from 2017-2021.
  • Among distracted driving fatalities, cell phones are involved more than 12% of the time on average.
  • Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving across an entire football field with your eyes closed.

In addition to its dangers, distracted driving is also a ticketable offense in most states. You could face hefty fines and points on your license if you’re caught driving distracted. Research your state’s laws to understand your obligations. For example, 34 states currently ban any handheld cell phone use while driving.

How To Avoid Distracted Driving

Consider the following guidelines for keeping your focus on the road:

  • Never use a handheld device while driving.
  • Pull over and park in a safe location if you need to send a text or adjust your GPS.
  • Give one of your passengers control of your phone, GPS and entertainment system when you’re behind the wheel.
  • Consider using your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” or “Driving Mode” features to mute alerts or enable hands-free controls before embarking.
  • If your phone presents frequent distractions, stow it in the glove box, trunk or back seat.
  • Avoid eating, fixing hair, adjusting the radio or otherwise engaging in any activity that takes your eyes off the road while driving.

Commit to safe driving. Learn more how to raise awareness about this preventable epidemic on the NHTSA website.

Contact INSURICA for further auto safety guidance.

This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. ©2024 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

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