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March 21, 2014

Distracted Driving: Ways to be Safer in your Car

Texting_While_DrivingIt’s hard to keep focused while we’re in the car. As Moms, we’re always busy; we’ve got places to go, kids to haul around, and errands to run. And the temptation to take care of small details while stopped at a light or when stuck in traffic is powerful if we feel we can save a few minutes later.

The Fact Is: Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death.

The Fact Is: A 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) shows that at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. 

"Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "I urge all motorists to use common sense and keep their attention focused solely on the task of safely driving."

Texting-while-driving-thinkstock-152165606To prevent distracted driving, the Department of Transportation recommends that drivers:

Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive. Don’t just leave it on vibrate and stick it in your purse if you can’t deny the temptation to peek when it buzzes!
Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
Speak up when you’re a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call or send the text for the driver, so his or her full attention stays focused on driving. Teach your kids to do the same when they’re passengers with friends and family as well.
Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

According NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Don’t become a statistic! "There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you're behind the wheel can save lives – maybe even your own," says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Remember, distraction free driving starts with you!

 

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