April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, time to take stock in how your community encourages safety behind the wheel. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that distracted driving crashes kill eight people every day and injure hundreds. KLC Insurance Loss Control has information to help KLC members keep city streets safe.
Distracted driving is dangerous for the entire community, from drivers and pedestrians to passengers and public safety personnel. People may be surprised to learn that distracted driving covers a lot of actions, including texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, using GPS, and even adjusting your radio. The challenge of splitting your attention between multiple things often causes a driver to lose focus.
It is important to remember that it is not just your attention that may be diverted when on the road. Anyone in or near traffic should always assume that other drivers are likely distracted in some manner and be prepared to make the necessary defensive maneuvers. Staying focused and anticipating the unsafe driving behaviors of other drivers is an essential part of defensive driving.
While texting and driving is illegal in Kentucky, many people still use their cell phones while behind the wheel. At any given daylight moment in America, 660,000 drivers are using a phone or another electronic device while driving, and the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) says that number continues to climb. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reports that drivers are three times more likely to get in a crash while attempting to use a hand-held device — even reaching for it increases your risk.
KLC Insurance encourages everyone to take safety behind the wheel seriously. The KLC Loss Control staff has two series of videos that specifically focus on reducing vehicle collisions and improving driver attention. You can learn about them here and access the videos on the KLC video library. Documented viewing of either module meets the defensive driving criteria for the KLC Insurance liability review.
NSC has various distracted driving resources available throughout the month on its website. You can also find helpful information and resources on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) distracted driving webpage.
Stay focused. Slow down. Drive safe.