April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort to recognize and reduce distracting behaviors behind the wheel. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the road.  Driving calls for your full attention. In Wisconsin, there is a distracted driving crash every 22 minutes!

 

Too many motorists still talk and text on cell phones while behind the wheel.  It is not only illegal to text and drive but it can be deadly.  Estimates indicate that drivers using cell phones look at the road but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment. Distracted driving is dangerous to beginner and expert drivers alike. 1 in 5 crashes involve distracted driving. In 2015, there were 24,089 car crashes resulting from distracted driving in Wisconsin.

 

While texting and driving is a leading cause of distraction behind the wheel, distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. There are three main types of distraction:

  1. Manual – taking your hands off the wheel.
  2. Visual – taking your eyes off the road.
  3. Cognitive – taking your mind off of driving.

 

If you are tired, pull off the road and rest awhile.  Only use your cell phone for emergencies.  If the temptation is too great, turn the phone off or put it in the trunk of your car.  Avoid over loading your vehicle, limit the number of passengers and remember their safety is your responsibility. Avoid activities other than concentrating on the road, such as eating.  Driving is a privilege and it is important to resist distractions in order to keep everyone safe.

 

Submitted by: Restorative Justice of NW WI, Inc.

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