Distracted Driving Awareness Month

NOTE: While normally in April, the National Safety Council postponed the observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month to October for 2020.

Distracted Driving: Crashes are Preventable

Distracted driving is doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving, which can increase your chances of a motor vehicle crash. The consequences of distracted driving are serious and life-threatening, not only for the driver but for others on the roads. According to NHTSA, in 2018 distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives. Among those killed were 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists.

Some workers are in industries and occupations where they spend all or part of their workdays on the road, making distracted driving an occupational hazard. Employees who drive during the workday are also more at risk as they could be thinking about the work task(s), be tired, be in a hurry to reach the destination, or use a cell phone due to business needs.

The risk increases even more the younger the driver as young adults in general are not only inexperienced but are willing to take more risks (testing, talking on the phone, eating, doing makeup, etc.). Workers who drive and are in the age group 20-29 are most likely to be involved in a fatal crash due to distracted driving.

Types of Distracted Driving

What Can You Do to Prevent Being Distracted While Driving?

All drivers, regardless of age, should recognize the dangers of distracted driving and practice the following per NHTSA:

  • Do not use your phone while driving.
  • Pull over in a safe location if you must text or make a call.
  • Make necessary adjustments (e.g., adjust controls, program directions) to your car before your drive.
  • Do not reach to pick up items from the floor, open the glove box, or try to catch falling objects in the vehicle.
  • Avoid emotional conversations with passengers, or pull over in a safe location to continue the conversation. For normal conversation, passengers in the vehicle can often help lower crash risk for adult drivers.
  • Focus on the driving environment — the vehicles around you, pedestrians, cyclists, and objects or events that may mean you need to act quickly to control or stop your vehicle.
Distracted Drivers

Where can you find More Information?

NHTSA publishes very useful information and statistics on distracted driving, including access to individual state laws regarding distracted driving.

The National Safety Council executes a Distracted Driving Campaign every year as a reminder of safety importance while driving. NSC composed a program called "Alive at 25" which teaches young adults under 25 how to make safe, respectful and legal choices outlining national driver education programs. Every hour approximately 30 teens are injured an in motor vehicle accidents. Every day around 7 teens will die from these motor vehicle accidents. The leading cause of death in young adults and teens is caused by motor vehicle accidents. Why? Distracted driving, young adults in general are not only inexperienced but are willing to take more risks (testing, talking on the phone, eating, doing makeup, etc). We have all seen it going down the road hundreds of people on their phones every day creating risk not only for themselves but for others around them.

Though young adults and teens are at highest risk of motor vehicle accidents, refresher driver training is always a great annual requirement for adults and drivers of any age. Reinforcement of good driving habits and reminders through employee education leads to safer workers and safer roads for all.

Amerisafe Group supports National Safety Council's effort to educate the public on driving safety. For more information on Amerisafe Group's Safety Training courses, visit our safety training page or call today to learn more: 844-295-6709.

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