April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Five Tips to Stay Safe
Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death among teenage drivers according to a recent study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center. PennDOT reports that for young, novice drivers, distracted driving is compounded by the inexperience factor and increases the risk of a collision. But distracted driving adversely affects all age groups. In Pennsylvania alone more than 14,600 crashes in 2012 were related to distracted driving resulting in 57 deaths. Over 300 deaths statewide occurred over the past five years. Distracted driving goes beyond simply texting to include some of the following:
- talking on a cell phone
- adjusting devices such as radios and GPSs
- attending to children or pets, and
- interacting with other passengers in the vehicle
To help avoid distractions while driving, PennDOT recommends following these simple safety tips:
- Store or turn off cell phones while driving. If an emergency call must be made, pull safely over to the side of the road.
- Set your GPS, radio, and temperature controls before you begin your trip.
- If traveling with pets, be sure they are properly restrained. Even a minor crash can result in a major injury to a pet if it is not properly restrained.
- Avoid attending to children while operating a vehicle.
- If you drop an object while driving, leave it until you reach your destination
For more information on distracted driving and Pennsylvania’s anti-texting law, visit www.JustDrivePA.com.