Prevent Distracted Driving

What Can You Do to Eliminate Distracted Driving?

How can you eliminate distracted driving this April?  Start by changing your own habits, then work to get the word out about distracted driving.

How to Quit Distracted Driving

In order to eliminate distracted driving, make a conscious effort to change your behavior.  Alter the way you think about driving, and encourage others to do the same.  To start, take a pledge, along with your friends and family, and promise to do the following:

  • Never text and drive.
  • Never talk on the phone and drive.
  • Tell family and friends that you will not be answering your phone or texting when you drive.
  • Never call or text someone when you know they will be driving.
  • Never use a phone while children are in the car.
  • Never eat or drink while driving.
  • Look up directions before you start traveling.
  • Pull over to read a map or look up directions on a GPS or smartphone.
  • If something falls onto the floor while driving, pull over rather than picking it up right away.
  • Know the laws in your state that pertain to distracted driving.

While implementing this pledge, remember that old habits die hard, so you’ll need to make conscious choices about your behavior in the car.  If you catch yourself doing one of the above, ask yourself, “Can this wait?”  It is instinctive to answer your phone immediately when it rings, reach for your phone at the sound of a text message, stretch to pick up something that has fallen onto the floor, or change the radio station when a song that you don’t like starts playing.  The next time one of these things happens, stop and think before you act.  Can you pull over and deal with this?  Is it something that can wait until you arrive at your destination?  Will taking this action distract you from the road in a dangerous way?  If the answer is “yes,” act accordingly.  A missed text message is not worth a traffic ticket, a fender bender, or a car accident.

How to Spread the Word about Distracted Driving

Altering your own distracted driving habits is a crucial way to make the roads safer for yourself, other drivers, and bystanders.  The second step is to get the word out about the dangers of distracted driving and the ways people can work to change.  Teens, adults, parents, teachers, and employers alike can all take action and help spread awareness about distracted driving.

Teens can…

  • Take the pledge to drive phone--and distraction--free.
  • Share the pledge with your friends and family and encourage them to join.
  • Share information and resources about Distracted Driving Awareness Month on social media.
  • Start a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter at your school.
  • Speak up when you are in the car with someone who is driving distracted.  If you feel unsafe, don’t be afraid to say so!

Parents can…

  • Take the pledge to drive phone--and distraction--free.
  • Talk seriously with your kids about distracted driving and encourage them to take the pledge as well.
  • Make a family pledge form to help your family commit to driving without distractions.
  • Set a good example by leaving your phone alone when driving with your kids.
  • Know the laws pertaining to distracted driving in your state.

Teachers can…

  • Take the pledge to drive phone--and distraction--free.
  • Encourage students to take the pledge.
  • Run a pledge drive.
  • Give an in-class presentation about distracted driving.
  • Hang posters around your school for Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Employers can…

  • Take the pledge to drive phone--and distraction--free.
  • Encourage employees to take the pledge.
  • Utilize the 2013 Drive Safely Work Week Toolkit from the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).
  • Enact a company policy on distracted driving.

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