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!