Distracted Driving: the wrap

It’s been a great month bringing awareness to distracted driving! As we wrap up and move on to… MAY!?… Let’s summarize/recap some things that we can all walk away with to take action on to make Michigan roads a safer place.

As we established earlier, the 3 main types of distraction while driving are:

  • Visual distractions that result in the driver taking his/her eyes off the road
  • Manual distractions that cause the driver to take his/her hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive distraction where the driver’s mind wanders from focusing on the road

The most common distractions while driving include:

  • Texting (this one is NUMERO UNO!!)
  • social media
  • Talking on the Phone
  • Attending to children or pets
  • Eating or drinking
  • Searching for an item in the car
  • Looking at a navigation app
  • Personal grooming using the rearview mirror
  • Adjusting climate or music controls

Texting is the most egregious distraction, because the driver engages in all 3 types of distractions at the same time! There are legal consequences as well. Current Michigan law explicitly prohibits texting while driving. First time offenders are fined $100 and repeat offenders can be fined $200!!

So, here’s some helpful tips to take action today:

  • Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times; use your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” (Apple now has a Driving mode or Focus mode that you can customize!) feature or an app to silence calls and texts.
  • Put your phone in the glovebox or elsewhere to curb the urge to look at it.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
  • Pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle if you need to make or take a call.
  • Ask a passenger to help navigate, change the music, or monitor your texts.
  • Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving pets or children. Model safe driving behavior as a family. Parents can be just as guilty of common distracted driving behaviors. Make a pledge as a family and commit to not engaging in any distracted driving behaviors.

Be safe. See you in May!