In America, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and I don’t think it’s ever been more important than it is right now for us all to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving.
In 2015 alone, 3,477 lives were lost and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers (NHTSA) in the USA. Incredibly, during daylight hours, approximately 660,000 people are using their phones while driving. That’s a similar figure to the TOTAL population of Boston, Massachusetts. Or Las Vegas, Nevada. In other words, it’s A LOT of people, who should be focusing on just one thing: driving.
Of course, the problem isn’t exclusive to the United States. Distracted driving is a problem everywhere. In the UK, for example, new laws were introduced on 1 March 2017 to tackle the issue, with offenders now receiving six points on their driving license and a £200 fine, double the previous penalties.
Now is the time for us to look at road safety differently. Now is the time for us to realize we can ALL do something about it. Deaths on the road are not inevitable. They are not the result of us not being able to find a cure. They are not the result of us not knowing how to prevent them. Rather, the majority of deaths on the road ARE preventable. And the ones we can prevent the easiest are the ones caused by distracted driving.
Police forces across the United States are stepping up campaigns throughout this month. Social media efforts by road safety organizations are certain to be focused on distracted driving. At eDriving, we’re joining the fight. We’re running a campaign throughout the month where you can find out everything you need to know about distracted driving. We’re posting articles covering everything from whether it’s time for a ‘Driver Mode’ on our phones, to why none of us are that important that we have a right to use our phones while driving.
You can even take a quiz to determine how distracted you are behind the wheel as well as a more in-depth assessment to get a personal RoadRISK score.
Wherever you live, I plead with you to join the fight against distracted driving. You only need to do one thing: put your phone away before you drive.
Do you have any distracted driving stories to share? Are you getting involved in Distracted Driving Awareness Month in any other ways?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.