Distracted driving is a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from driving, including texting, using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio or GPS.
Awareness of its dangers is essential to prevent distracted driving and reduce the risk of accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following tips to help prevent distracted driving:
- Put away electronic devices: Cell phones and other electronic devices are a significant distraction while driving. To avoid temptation, put them out of reach while driving.
- Plan ahead: Plan your route and familiarize yourself with it before driving. This can help reduce the need to use a GPS.
- Avoid eating and drinking: Eating and drinking while driving can be distracting and increase the risk of accidents. Avoid eating and drinking while behind the wheel.
- Don’t multitask: Driving requires your full attention, so avoid multitasking while driving. This includes activities such as applying makeup, reading, or watching videos.
- Pull over if necessary: If you need to make a call, text, or take care of anything else that requires your attention, pull over to a safe location before doing so.
Employers can also play a role in preventing distracted driving by implementing policies prohibiting using electronic devices while driving. This can include a ban on texting, using a mobile phone, and checking email or social media while behind the wheel. Employers can also train employees on the dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid it.
Distracted driving is a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. By raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and taking steps to prevent it, such as putting away electronic devices, planning ahead, avoiding eating and drinking, not multitasking, and pulling over, if necessary, we can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and save lives. Employers can also play a role in preventing distracted driving by implementing policies and providing training to their people.