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Practicing Safe Driving

Distracted driving has emerged as a grave concern in today’s fast-paced world, where our addiction to technology and constant multitasking has seeped into our vehicles. This menace not only endangers the lives of those behind the wheel but also poses a significant risk to pedestrians and fellow motorists.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.

There are three main types of distractions:

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road.
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off what you are doing.

Whether it’s glancing at a text message, fiddling with the GPS, or engaging in a lively conversation, the consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. In a split second, lives can be forever altered or lost. It’s imperative that we recognize the gravity of this issue and take immediate action to curb this silent epidemic on our roads.

The statistics surrounding distracted driving are staggering. According to recent studies, distracted driving contributes to a significant number of accidents each year, with thousands of lives lost and countless injuries sustained. What makes it particularly alarming is that these accidents are entirely preventable. Raising awareness about the risks and implementing stricter laws can play a crucial role in combating this epidemic. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to be involved in a crash with injuries. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported in 2021 that distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in 2021. In fact, roughly 20% of injuries occurring in car crashes involve distracted driving. It is important to pay attention to the road, research suggests that distraction is present during 52% of normal driving. Common distractions are interacting with an adult or teen passenger (15%), using a cell phone (6%), and using systems such as climate control and radio (4%).

On average, a non-fatal injury crash at work that involves distraction costs the employer $72,442. To combat this problem many states have passed hands-free laws for all mobile devices. The roads can be an extremely dangerous place. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 31,785 people died in traffic crashes in the first nine months of 2022.

Promoting safe driving habits, such as keeping mobile devices out of reach, utilizing hands-free technology, and practicing focused attention on the road, are vital steps we can all take to ensure our safety and that of others. Together, we can put an end to distracted driving and make our roads safer for everyone. Being a defensive driver is the best way to protect yourself while on the road.

Most collisions that occur today are preventable. With all the reckless drivers on the road, it is more important than ever to be a defensive driver. The National Safety Council defines defensive driving as, “Driving to save lives, time, and money in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”. Defensive driving techniques involve more than just following the basic traffic laws.

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