How many times has this happened to you?

You’re driving around town listening to your favorite radio station when your kids start to call your name from the backseat. You glance in the rearview mirror, taking your eyes off the road, and make sure your kids are okay. Eyes back on the road. 

As you’re driving along, you reach over to take a sip of your drink and grab a french fry from the drive-thru bag you just picked up. Hands off the wheel. 

You’re almost home when you feel your phone buzz— you look down, pick it up and send a quick reply. 

Suddenly, you see a flash of brake lights in front of you. You slam on your breaks and stop just short of hitting the car in front of you. 

Whew, that was close. 

There are so many distractions in our car, many of which seem harmless, but any distraction can wreck it all. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and at Absolute Collision, we want to help you get back on the road safely. 

What does it mean to drive distracted?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system— anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”

Texting is the most common distraction, and the most dangerous. Did you know that taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds to send or read a text message while going 55mph is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed?

When you drive distracted, you aren’t just a threat to yourself, you’re a threat to everyone else on the road. Distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019— that’s 3,142 lives too many. 

What can you do to put an end to distracted driving?

There are many ways that you can do your part to put an end to distracted driving, the first is to lead by example. Put your phone away, keep your focus on the road and don’t drive distracted. 

A second way that you can help put an end to distracted driving is to use your voice. Parents, talk with your teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving. Be a voice in your local community by speaking out at local meetings, encourage schools to talk about the dangers of distracted driving and support local laws that aim to prevent distracted driving. 

The next time you get in your car, we hope that you will remember to just drive— everything else can wait.