The dangers of distracted driving

Distracted Driving kills and injures

In 2016, 3,450 people died from distracted driving according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and, in 2015, 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle incidents involving distracted drivers.


What is Distracted Driving?

Any activity that diverts your attention from driving which includes talking or texting on your phone, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, playing with the entertainment system, etc is consider distracted driving. The biggest culprit is texting as it diverts your attention for at least five seconds and, when traveling at 55 mph, you’ve driven the length of a football field with your eyes closed.


Distracted driving comes in three different forms: Cognitive, Visual, and Manual.

• Cognitive distraction: When a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Such as when they speak to another passenger or they are preoccupied with personal worries.
• Visual distraction: When a driver looks at anything but the road ahead. This includes using electronic devices such as GPS, entertainment systems, etc.
• Manual Distraction: When the driver takes one of both hands off the wheel for any reason. Eating and drinking in the car, adjusting the GPS, or entertainments system, searching for something in the car.


The Cost

Distracted driving can cost more than your insurance rates. It could cost you your life.

• About 481,000 drivers use cell phones during the day and the largest age group that are distracted at the time of fatal crashes are teenagers.

• Distracted driving can drive up insurance premiums by an average of 16% or about $226 a year. It represents a auto insurance premium increase of 7,944% since 2011. These numbers vary by state of course.
What you can do to protect your family and your wallet.

• Turn off your cell phone or utilize an app that automatically sends a message to anyone trying to contact you that you are driving and will contact them later.

• If you always need to be reachable, then utilize a hands-free device only for emergencies because they have proven just as distracting as using a cell phone.

• When driving with pets and children, keep pets in carriers and children in seatbelts before leaving. If a situation arises, pull over first and handle the situation then.

• Eat before or after you drive.

• Program GPS before leaving.

• Educate young drivers in the household about the dangers of distracted driving.


April is national safe driving awareness month. Stay safe and avoid distracted driving. Call or email L.H. Brenner today for more safety tips and let us show you how save money on your insurance.

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