This month’s topic of interest: June 2016 FLORIDA DISTRACTED DRIVING CRASHES SOAR!
Since 2011, crashes in Florida have soared by 63.1% and injuries caused by crashes have gone up by 33.6%! Distracted driving is defined as “anything that causes a motorist to divert his or her attention from the road or his or her mind off driving.” More than 45,000 crashes in Florida alone were caused by distracted driving in 2015 resulting in over 39,000 injuries and 200 deaths.
Drivers ranging in age from 15-29 are far more likely to cause distracted driving accidents than any other age group. Teens cause 2.5 times more crashes than any other driving age range. This is why insurance companies charge so much for you to insure your kids. It is hard for your brain to do more than one thing at a time, and young people are more likely to try to multitask than others on the road.
However, older drivers are also texting, talking, playing with the stereo, and trying to connect to navigation screens and Bluetooth. This has caused a perfect storm for accidents to occur. What should we do about it? The only way to effectively combat this yourself is to set all your devices before you start driving and leave them alone while you’re driving. Pull off to the side of the road if you have to reset your navigation, take a phone call, or use your phone.
Most of us will answer calls coming in to our cell phones while driving, but be very careful not to let it cause you to drive erratically. There is no safe way to drive and operate devices at the same time. You also need to be extra attentive; assume everyone else around you is driving distracted as well! So be safe and do one thing at a time. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road!