Ever reached for your phone to read a quick text, fumbled with the radio to find a good song or eaten fast food between appointments while driving? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Distracted driving is increasingly common and contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a motorist’s attention from the road. The National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage motorists to minimize distractions behind the wheel.
Three main types of distractions qualify as distracted driving:
- Visual —These distractions involve motorists taking their eyes off the road, such as reading emails or text messages, focusing on passengers, looking at maps or navigation systems and glancing at nearby activities, like accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions.
- Manual — These entail motorists removing their hands from the steering wheel and include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking, grooming, or reaching for something in the backseat or glove box while driving.
- Cognitive — Cognitive distractions could be anything that takes motorists’ minds off of driving, such as talking on the phone and with passengers or daydreaming while driving.
Each year, more than 2,800 people —about eight people a day— are killed, and another 400,000 are injured in crashes because of a distracted driver, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Considering these findings, it’s essential that motorists do their part to take steps to prevent distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Prevention Tips
- Put away your phone. Silence your phone and store it in a location that is out of reach.
- Plan ahead. Program your navigation system before hitting the road to get familiar with your journey.
- Don’t fumble with your playlist. Select a radio station or plug in a predetermined playlist to limit the need for adjustments.
- Secure passengers. Ensure children are secured in car seats (if needed) and passengers are wearing seat belts. Keep pets stationary in the back seat.
- Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel.
- Stay focused. Concentrate on the road by keeping conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead.
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Overmyer Hall Associates is one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country, quickly becoming one of the largest property and casualty insurance agencies in Central Ohio. Overmyer Hall Associates provides clients with insurance and risk management, specializing in Business Insurance, Surety Bonding, and Home & Auto Insurance. Since its founding in 2011, the firm has been awarded Columbus Business First’s “Fast 50” and “Best Places to Work” awards, the IIABA’s “Best Practices Agency” recognition, Columbus CEO Magazine’s “Best Insurance Broker” and the Columbus Young Professionals Club’s “Wonderful Workplace for Young Professionals” award. www.oh-ins.com