April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month and AAA indicates that 90 percent of drivers are already aware of the problem and fear it is getting worse.
The proportion of drivers who report talking on a cell phone regularly or fairly often when behind the wheel jumped 46 percent since 2013. However, distracted driving is not limited to simply talking on a cell phone. Distracted driving is any task that requires a driver to take their eyes or attention off the road.
“The number of distractions behind the wheel is increasing, from phone apps to in-vehicle technology, increasing the urgency to educate all drivers on the dangers of distraction,” says AAA Driving School Supervisor, Pat Brown.
“This is something we are, of course, addressing in our classrooms but distraction is not just a teen driving issue. It’s an everybody issue”, Brown said.
Any level of risk is too high when it comes to safe driving. AAA urges drivers to act responsibly when behind the wheel. In order to avoid distractions, drivers should:
- Put aside electronic distractions and never use text messaging, email, video games or internet functions, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.
- Pre-program your GPS and adjust seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before driving.
- Properly secure children and pets. Store loose possessions and other items that could roll around in the car.
- Snack smart by avoiding messy foods that can be difficult to manage.