Dangers of Distracted Driving
We have become extremely busy and occupied as a society, and it's understandable that time behind the wheel of a vehicle is thought of as an opportunity to multitask. Many drivers take their commute as an opportunity to answer a quick text or have a phone conversation. Our advice? Don’t do it. When you’re driving, safely operating your vehicle should be your one and only focus. We repair so many vehicles that were involved in collisions caused by a distracted driver but don’t just take our word for it. Here is some eye-opening information on distracted driving.
1. According to the CDC, roughly 9 people are killed and over 1,000 injured in accidents involving a distracted driver each day. That’s over 3,000 deaths and roughly 365,000 injuries as a direct result of motorists taking their eyes off the road for “just a second”.
2. If you’re driving at 60mph, you will cover about 88 feet per second. It takes an average of 5 seconds to read a text. That means that you can travel about 440 feet in the time it takes you to glance at your phone. Now, if the vehicle in front of you slams on their breaks, you could end up plowing into them before you even have a chance to look up from your phone, since the average motorist leaves 176 feet or less between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them.
3. Operating a cell phone and walking isn’t illegal in New York State, but it IS illegal for drivers. This means that drivers need to be even more vigilant these days in watching out for distracted pedestrians stepping into traffic. Let’s not forget that children have been known to dart into moving traffic, and you’re also sharing the road with cyclists. It’s up to the motorist to be aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid colliding with cyclists and pedestrians.
Bottom line: Do not text and drive. We’ll say it again: DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE. Under any circumstances. Period. This rule encompasses selecting music from your smartphone, answering phone calls, and any other general distractions that can occur due to cell phone use in a vehicle. Distracted driving not only puts you and your passengers in danger, but you also pose a risk to pedestrians and other drivers on the road.
How to Avoid Distracted Driving Situations
Cell phones are addictive, and it can be difficult to put them away while you’re in the car. If you simply can’t let a notification go unanswered, try turning your phone off for your drive, or placing it in airplane mode. Secure it in your glove box or even in your trunk if you must. Whatever you need to do to make sure that your eyes are on the road and not your phone. Please share this information with your family and friends, and together we can help make New York's roads safer.