Thursday, March 31, 2022

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving isn't just dangerous, it can be deadly. Driver inattention is the leading cause of fatal crashes in New Jersey.

It's cited as a contributing factor in 163 of the 588 fatal crashes — about 28 percent — in the state in 2020, according to the New Jersey State Police. Nationwide it claimed 3,142 lives in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to the issue in hopes of preventing this dangerous behavior and saving lives.

The only way to drive safely is to have your full attention on the task. Anything else you do while driving diverts your attention increasing your risk of crashing.

New Jersey law prohibits the use of a hand-held cell phones to talk or text while driving. But distraction isn’t limited to cell phones. Eating, drinking, changing the radio station or entering an address into GPS while driving can distract a driver.

It only takes a few seconds of distracted driving for a crash to occur. When you’re driving, remember to keep your focus on the road. And if you're the passenger in a vehicle and the driver is distacted, don't be affaid to speak up. Doing so will help avoid crashes and ensure you and those around you get to their destinations safely.