“Just” Is All It Takes. Put Your Phone Down And “Just” Drive.

“Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all. The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015.”

Distracted driving doesn’t mean just texting, it includes anything that takes your eyes and attention off the road including eating, grooming, reading, taking pictures/videos, talking on the phone and checking email or social media apps. All of these fall under three main types of distractions; visual, manual and cognitive. A visual distraction draws the driver’s eyes off the road while a manual distraction causes the driver’s hands to leave the steering wheel. A cognitive diversion veers the driver’s attention from driving. All of these can endanger drivers and passengers alike!

According to the National Safety Council (NSC) – “the ability to multitask while driving is a myth, especially when it comes to using a cell phone. The brain can’t focus on two thinking tasks such as driving and talking on the phone simultaneously. The brain switches between the two tasks, hence slowing reaction times and increasing your risk of getting into a crash. It could take just one second of your attention to change a life. Remember to practice safe driving habits and be a helpful passenger, too.’

Thousands have died in vehicle crashes because drivers are distracted by cell phone conversations, emails, text messages and social media. Do not become a statistic. Here are some tips to keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind on drive.

  • First and foremost, turn off your cell phone. Put it in the glove compartment, in your purse or in your trunk. There is no safe way to make a call while driving – not even hands-free.
  • Send and read text messages and emails before you start driving.
  • If you’re going on a longer drive, schedule breaks to stop, park safely and respond to messages.
  • Using voice features in your car’s infotainment system is also distracting. Take care of communications before you start driving.
  • Know where you’re going before you put your car in “drive”. Put your destination into your GPS so you not need to touch it while the car is moving.
  • Social media can wait. No update, tweet or video is worth a life.
  • Park in a safe area if you must take a call, return a text or check email.
  • Do not call or text friends or family if you know they are driving.

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