GEORGIA (WRBL) — April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Georgia officials have an overarching message for the public: Pay attention to the road.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed and 324,652 were injured in distraction-affected crashes.
The CDC estimates around nine people are killed on average every day due to distraction-affected crashes, with one of the more prominent distractions being cellphone usage. Officials say the average time someone’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds — at 55 miles-per-hour, that’s the same amount of time to drive the length of a football field.
The NHTSA recommends these tips to prevent distracted driving:
- Turn off electronic devices and avoid reaching for devices while driving.
- Be alert for pedestrians and cyclists, especially those who may themselves be distracted.
- Set a good example for young drivers and talk with teen drivers about responsible driving.
- Familiarize yourself with the state graduated driver licensing system. That information can be found on the DDS website as well as the published driver manuals available online and physical copies at customer service centers.
- Speak up when a driver uses an electronic device or not paying attention behind the wheel.
- Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the road.“