There’s more to safe driving than keeping your phone out of your hands.
Distracted drivers cause thousands of car accidents annually, many of which end up being fatal. Thankfully you can prevent this fate for yourself by paying attention.
You see them every day. The woman doing her makeup on I-695. The man texting as he is driving down Joppa Road in Perry Hall. You may even be a distracted driver yourself!
Anyone can be a distracted driver, and any vehicle can end up being piloted by one. All it takes is one distraction and you can end up in a serious situation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving-related accidents, as well as 2,841 people who tragically lost their lives.
Texting isn’t the only culprit either, even though it is by far the most common. There are plenty of ways you can become distracted behind the wheel. Here are just a few examples:
- Talking on the phone (even through Bluetooth)
- Reading a map
- Talking to your passengers
- Dealing with children in the rear seat
- Eating, Drinking or Smoking
Tragically, young drivers are the most susceptible to distracted driving accidents according to the NHTSA, with teenagers compromising the most fatalities. With endless distractions at our fingertips, how can we reduce the accidents that result from them? Here are a few tips:
- The phone can wait. Even hands-free Bluetooth conversations can be distracting. If it’s an emergency, pull over to a safe location first.
- That food can wait. Eat before you depart, after you get there, or even parked out in front of the restaurant! Just don’t eat and drive simultaneously.
- If you’re lost, calm down and pull over. It’s far safer to adjust your GPS coordinates when you aren’t moving.
- If you have teen drivers at home, talk to them about the dangers of driving distracted.
- Keep your eyes peeled for other distracted drivers on the road, and make an effort to distance yourself from them.
Distracted driving is entirely preventable, and if we all do our part, we can help make the streets of Baltimore and Central Maryland safer.