Educate yourself on the dangers of distracted driving
You might know about the dangers of drinking and driving, but did you know that texting while driving kills thousands of people every year? April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and it’s a good opportunity to educate yourself on the consequences of being distracted while you are behind the wheel.
No matter where you go in the USA, there will be a heartbreaking story of the impact of distracted driving. In Virginia, a 24-year old woman was riding her bike down a road when she was hit and killed by a texting driver. The driver had been sending a birthday text to a friend and didn’t stop after hitting her. Across the country in Santa Rosa, California, a distracted driver killed two women on their way to a birthday celebration after being distracted by his phone and not seeing traffic had stopped.
The common thread with these crashes is that they are completely preventable. Experts speculate that some people don’t see the harm in texting while driving because they’re afraid to be separated from their smartphones. The term ‘nomophobia’ or no-mobile-phone phobia is being used to describe the anxiety people feel from being disconnected while driving, and studies show it affects 2/3 of all smartphone users.
Not all states have a ban on hand-held cell phone use in vehicles. Currently there are 12 states including D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that prohibit all drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. 37 states ban all cell phone use for novice drivers, and Washington was the first state to pass a ban on texting while driving. As of today, 43 states ban texting while driving and another 4 states ban texting while driving for novice drivers.
Whether you’re walking down the sidewalk or behind the wheel on the highway, you have the potential to come into contact with a distracted driver. You can stay safe by becoming aware of the dangers of distracted driving and sharing the message, ‘Don’t text and drive’ with everyone you know.