October: Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Although October marks the true start of fall foliage, it also known as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Across the country, distracted driving is a very dangerous habit that continues to occur amongst all drivers on the road. In fact, more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes a day.

There are many ways that road users may drive distracted. The most frequent ways are noted as talking on a cell phone, programming an entertainment system, and, of course, texting while driving. No matter what distraction it may be, all can equally cause a catastrophic crash.

For this year’s awareness around distracted driving month, the NHTSA has announced a U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign that will have law enforcement offers nationwide perusing the roads in search of distracted drivers behind the wheel. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elain L. Chao spoke in support of the campaign, saying, “Distracted driving can cause accidents and worse – this educational campaign is meant to remind drivers to focus on the road and drive safely.”

When it comes to distracted driving, there are several dangers that can result from a collision with a distracted driver. In fact, in 2018, 2,841 drivers lost their lives in car crashes involving distracted drivers. Additionally, texting and driving awareness has always been a high focus point when thinking about distracted driving. All it takes is one moment of glancing away from the road to get tangled up in a collision.

Let’s review some key statistics around distracted driving and focus on the overarching importance of keeping our eyes on the road while we’re behind the wheel. We hope these National Safety Council distracted driving statistics will help paint a better picture of how distracted driving can and does claim lives.

  • More than 400,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018.
  • 5 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the collision.
  • There were 506 nonoccupants (pedestrians, cyclists, and others) that were killed as a result of a distracted-driving collision.
Woman distracted from driving by a mobile phone

Distracted Driving Tips

In order to best avoid distracted driving, here are some tips to keep you safe when you’re behind the wheel:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting your drive.
  • Speak up when you see a driver using an electronic device behind the wheel.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Remain vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid a collision

The Bottom Line

When it comes to getting behind the wheel of your ride, it’s important to stay focused, and not let anyone or anything divert your attention from the road ahead. It’s important to actively scan the road and watch out for pedestrians as well as cyclists. Although it can be hard to avoid partaking in at times due to our everyday lives, your safety as well as the drivers around you is number one. No matter what is going on in your personal life – it can wait until you’re no longer on the road ahead. As the NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owen has stated, “Taking your eyes off the road for a moment is all it takes to cause a crash. No call or text is worth a life.” At SafeAuto, we want our customers to not only enjoy the road ahead but to stay safe. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and fellow drivers protected by avoiding distractions when driving. During the fall months of the year, we hope you and your loved ones are remaining healthy, and playing it safe on the road!