April is distracted driving awareness month, and we couldn’t let it pass before addressing the urgency of this nationwide epidemic. According to the AAA, cold winter months keep drivers off the streets, but when April hits, the sun comes out and more are visiting festivals, beaches and other recreational activities around Charleston. And, as a top tourist city in the nation, we’re expecting more to visit each year. That means a stark increase in drivers on the road – many who are unfamiliar with our highways and narrow streets.
More miles behind the wheel also means there are more chances to become distracted. And unfortunately, those distractions can have deadly consequences.
What exactly is distracted driving?
Cell phones factor in many kinds of distractions, but there are plenty of other ways to lose focus while driving. The three types of distracted driving as identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving
This can include texting, talking on a phone, eating, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, adjusting music or reacting to the behavior of a passenger. Most people also think they can do all this while driving and not cause a crash. But that’s where they’re wrong:
Stop Distracted Driving Before it Stops
- Visual distractions: Keep your eyes on the road, pull over to read directions and put your phone away.
- Manual distractions: Keep your phone out of reach, make all adjustments before driving and don’t reach for items while driving.
- Cognitive distractions: Avoid phone calls (even hands-free), stay focused on the road and keep your emotions in check.
Also consider reading our April safety newsletter on Distracted Driving for more information and safety tips. Knowledge is power and, together, we can keep our streets safe for pedestrians and drivers alike.
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