Are you a distracted driver? You probably don’t think so, but any second your eyes are off the road or your hands are off the wheel, you are putting yourself and others in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation.
The National Highway Traffic Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving, with texting being the most alarming distraction.”
Distracted driving kills and injures more than 440,000 people every year, with teens being the largest group involved in fatal crashes. According to recent statistics, 11 teens die every day in the United States as a result of texting and driving. In a poll taken by the American Automobile Association, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving, but 35 percent admitted to doing it anyway.
Listen to these teens realizing the stupidity of texting and talking while driving, in this video: “Wait for It…this could save your life!”
In 2010, AT&T launched a campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of texting while driving. Please take these next few minutes to watch the documentary they created—“The Last Text”—and hear the stories of people who have been impacted forever by texting and distracted driving. This video will change your driving behaviors forever, we hope.
The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in a national campaign to prevent injuries and fatalities. As the number of preventable injuries and deaths increase—from people talking on the phone and/or texting while driving—there is greater need to increase awareness of how it just takes a few seconds of “distraction” to lose control of a vehicle.
As part of this campaign, our ThinkFirst Navajo Injury Prevention Program has increased its focus on teaching Navajo youth about the perils of distracted driving. Here are some of the important tips we share in the presentations we give to students—especially teens—across the Navajo Nation:
Keep your mind on driving
Keep your eyes on the road
Keep your hands on the wheel
Turn your phones off or put them on silent mode and out of sight.
We also encourage younger students to share this information with their parents or anyone else with whom they might be in a vehicle.
If you live on or near the Navajo Nation, and would like to arrange a free injury prevention presentation for your school, organization, conference or at any other venue, please contact us at:
Distracted driving is deadly. Distracted driving is never okay.
Please join over 14 million others and take the “It Can Wait Pledge” here to never drive distracted again and then share it with everyone you care about.