Driving without distractions
Imagine you’re driving down I-35 to Wells Fargo Arena to watch a sporting event. While driving, the car in front of you starts swerving in the lane. You flip on your blinker and switch lanes to avoid a crash. When you pass the car, you notice the driver is texting on their phone and not paying attention to the road or other drivers. This is a scene that plays out all too often on Iowa roadways.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, between 2015 and 2020, there were 14 fatalities a year due to distracted driving with an electronic device.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time dedicated to educating drivers to keep their eyes on the road. Below are tips to follow to avoid distracted driving.
- Don’t text and drive. If you need to send a text message, have your passenger do so for you or pull over and stop at a safe location.
- Have your phone’s voice-activated features turned on. Whether you’re calling someone on the phone or getting directions from your GPS, make sure your phone’s voice-activated features are turned on so your attention can stay on the road.
- Have your phone’s do not disturb mode turned on. Whether it’s a text message or social media notification, looking at your phone while driving takes your focus off of the road. It can wait!
- Don’t eat while behind the wheel. No matter how hungry you are, your food can wait until you are pulled over safely.
- Don’t scroll through your music. Have a playlist set for your drive or turn on the radio. Scrolling through music can be just as distracting as texting!
- Focus all attention on the roads. When driving with passengers, let them know your job is getting to the destination safely.
- Don’t drive drowsy. If you feel drowsy, do not get behind the wheel. Drowsiness accounts for an estimated 17% of fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving according to the Insurance Information Institute.