By: Alison De Villiers
Did you know that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%? Or that sending or receiving a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving 55 mph, for the length of an entire football field, blind? Thousands of people are killed or injured each year due to distracted driving. Since April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” we encourage you to increase awareness about distracted driving and take the following steps, which we hope will become habit:
- Stop all use of cell phones while driving;
- When you are speaking with someone on the phone whom you know is driving, let them know that you’d be happy to continue the conversation once they’ve reached their destination; and
- Understand and tell others about the dangers of cognitive distraction to the brain caused by using a cell phone while driving.
It is important to keep the dialogue about distracted driving going and remember that cell phones aren’t the only objects to blame. Pop-up DVD players, navigation systems, tablets, MP3 players and portable video players also cause distractions to drivers and should not be used by the driver while the vehicle is in operation.
So please take time to educate yourself and those around you. Help save lives by eliminating distracted driving.