April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To educate others on the woes of distracted driving, all month long we’ll be highlighting the “seven deadly sins of distracted driving” – seven things that can have a profoundly dangerous effect on your driving ability.
There is perhaps no other distracted driving sin that is as dangerous as phone use, primarily because it is so common and so acceptable. Most drivers are so confident behind the wheel that they think using their phone while driving presents no real risk to the safety of themselves and others around them.
This sense of false pride and hubris is ultimately what makes phone use while driving one of the most dangerous actions on the road.
More Dangerous Than You Think
Drivers may not think phone use while driving significantly hampers one’s abilities on the road, but that’s far from the truth. The simple act of taking your eyes off the road is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of phone use while driving. You may think keeping your eyes off the road for a split-second does nobody any harm, but consider the fact that the average text takes four seconds to complete. Keeping your eyes off the road for four seconds while driving at 55 mph means that you’ve just traveled 108 yards without even looking in front of you.
Would you voluntarily drive the length of a football field blindfolded? The numbers don’t lie.
Unacceptable in Any Circumstance
The general acceptance of phone use while driving has also been a massive catalyst to its danger on the road. Consider this PSA from the Safe Roads Alliance:
Why is drunk driving so unacceptable when distracted driving is just as dangerous to drivers on the road? In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and more than 400,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers – and that number only gets higher every year.
Don’t Text – Just Drive
For such a rampant problem, the solution is simple: just don’t use your phone when you’re on the road. That includes:
- Phone calls
- Checking social media
- Taking pictures
If you need to get directions from your navigation app, enter your destination ahead of time, or pull over and then enter your desired address.
Most importantly, keep others honest when you’re a passenger. Calling out your driver for using their phone for a number of activities increases accountability and can slowly but surely make phone use while driving just as unacceptable as drunk driving.