Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In the age of constant connectivity, our vehicles have become more than just modes of transportation. The increasing reliance on technology while driving has brought about a silent yet deadly menace: distracted driving. 

The statistics surrounding distracted driving are devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2,800 lives were lost in the United States in accidents involving distracted drivers in the past year. These numbers highlight the urgent need to address the issue and raise awareness about its disastrous consequences.

Distracted driving takes many forms, the most obvious being cell phones. Texting, browsing social media, and answering calls all divert a driver’s attention from the road, which significantly increases the risk of accidents. However, distractions can also come from various sources, including eating, adjusting the radio, or conversing with passengers. 

To combat the dangers of distracted driving, a collective effort is required. Awareness campaigns, stringent law enforcement, and personal responsibility are critical components of the solution. It starts with acknowledging the risks and prioritizing safety whenever a driver gets behind the wheel.

The following are some tips from DefensiveDriving.org you can use:

  • Commit to the drive — When you get behind the wheel, focus entirely on the task. Don’t multitask and keep your eyes on the road with your hands on the wheel. Pull over if you need to do something.
  • On your mark, get set, drive — Before beginning to drive be sure to adjust everything in your vehicle including seats, mirrors, headrest, seat belt, etc.
  • Silence or put away your phone — If your phone is out of sight, it won’t be a distraction: beeps, chimes, and rings are all equal distractions.
  • Eat before departing— Avoid messy and complicated food while driving. If you need something, opt for a simple snack or pull over for a quick break.
  • Go smokeless — Avoid smoking and vaping while in the car.
  • Be a good passenger — Don’t bother or distract the driver while they’re driving. That also means offering to help with the radio, directions, phone, etc.

THEA is committed to keeping the Tampa Bay area roadways safe for drivers and the scores of crews working to improve our highways and roads. By working together, we can continue improving the mobility and safety of our area roads.