We see them every day – someone drifting across lanes, running through stop signs or driving well below the speed limit while talking, texting or checking something on their smartphone.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, dedicated to educating and eliminating the scourge of inattentive drivers on America’s highways and byways. Unfortunately, too many of us are making bad decisions behind the wheel, and there is much more work to be done.
Five Most Distracted Cities
TrueMotion, a company that uses sensors and driving information to help make roads safer, analyzed the data from thousands of vehicles to determine the areas with the most distracted drivers in America. Their findings:
- St. Louis
- Salt Lake City
- Fort Worth
The states with the most distracted drivers were Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Missouri and Louisiana.
Here’s the scary part – TrueMotion found drivers in the most distracted areas were not paying attention almost 20 percent of their time behind the wheel. You wouldn’t want to be a nearby pedestrian or driving next to them during one of their many lapses.
You Know the Danger
Let’s face it, every city has distracted drivers. They are not only a nuisance, but a danger to us and the ones that we love.
The problem of driver distraction continues to increase. Sixty percent of us admit to taking our eyes off the road to text, check social media or look up directions. The National Safety Council estimates that at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured every day in distracted driving crashes. One study found that 84 percent of us feel threatened when we see a driver concentrating on an electronic device, rather than traffic and the roadway. One recent study concluded that people talking on the phone while driving were as impaired as someone who tests for the legal limit of blood-alcohol.
What Can You Do?
Despite collision avoidance systems, the accident rate continues to climb. Traffic experts warn that inattentive and aggressive driving is the cause for all too many crashes. Here are some defensive driving tips that can help you avoid these errant drivers:
- Keep scanning the area ahead and behind you
- Drive with both hands on the wheel to better respond to dangers
- Don’t follow too close
- Slow down in bad weather
- Have an escape plan
- Avoid driving when tired or drowsy
You can also help stop distracted driving:
- Set a good example for others. Many teens say while their parents lecture them about texting or not paying attention while driving, their parents text or fiddle with phones while they drive
- Turn off phones or use the text and call blocker when driving
- Plan and review trip directions before driving, and pull over if you need to read or program navigation systems
- Create music or podcast lists before setting off on your drive
- Don’t drink, eat, or do other actions (grooming, turning to talk to others, etc.) that could be a distraction while driving
Teaching young drivers is one of the best ways to prevent this type of driving behavior. That’s why California Casualty is proud to be a major sponsor of Impact Teen Drivers, a nonprofit formed with the law enforcement and education groups that uses peer-to-peer tactics to educate teen and young adults about the dangers of distracted and reckless driving. Learn more at http://www.calcas.com/web/ccmc/impact-teen-drivers.
Experts recommend that everyone take a defensive driving course to learn these techniques. It can also help you get a discount on your auto insurance.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have adequate protection in case you encounter a distracted or aggressive driver. Call a California Casualty advisor today for an auto policy review, at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.
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This article provided by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or www.calcas.com.