April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
People rely on technology for so many things, such as getting directions, communicating with friends, and getting in the loop on the latest news. However, technology, particularly mobile phones, is the number one distraction for drivers. The majority of drivers own mobile phones and they have a habit of using them while driving. The consequences of distracted driving are too much to ignore: April is a suitable time to reflect on this: it’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
What is Distracted Driving Awareness Month?
Distracted Driving Awareness Month is celebrated to remind drivers that being distracted with mobile devices can result in serious injuries, and even death. It is reported that the number of distracted driving accidents rise each year with the increase of mobile phone users. Drivers often think that they can multitask and do two things at the same time. However, with just a slip of the wheel, an accident can happen – just like that.
It’s critical that drivers continue to pay attention at all times. Even if you are an experienced motorist, it’s never a bad idea to devote some time refreshing your knowledge of the rules of the road by taking a quick refresher test.
Drivers are not the only ones being reminded of the dire consequences of distracted driving. Authorities and those in power are also challenged to create laws and put an effort into lessening the number of drivers who use mobile phones while on the road.
What do the authorities do?
For the month of April, many states are observing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drivers who are caught using mobile devices while driving. Those who are caught must pay a fine. New drivers are also encouraged to take special classes for smart driving, just so they are aware of the safety precautions to take, and learn the consequences of driving while distracted. Videos, pamphlets, and infographics, are also being spread around to get everyone reading on the topic of distracted driving.
Police officers and government officials are doing what they can to reach the public, and Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a step towards the right direction. While it may take a while before majority of drivers adhere to safe driving, efforts are being made and for the time being, that is what’s important.
What can we do to help?
As concerned citizens, there are some things that we can do in order to support this cause. One way is by being safe drivers and following road rules, especially when it comes to using a mobile device. Remember that distracted driving is not only about handheld devices. Even if you use your mobile phone hands free, that is still considered a distraction if your focus is split between two tasks.
Another way is by informing the people you know about the dangers of distracted driving. This can be through word of mouth or through other means, such as social media. Share infographics, send your contacts URLs to information, show them videos, and do what you can to spread the word and let everyone be aware of the consequences of their actions while driving.
While Distracted Driving Awareness Month is only officially observed one month in a year, the learnings spread way beyond that single calendar month. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and adhere to laws each time we go behind the wheel. By being a safe driver, you are not only thinking about your safety. You are also thinking about other drivers around you.