Distracted driving continues to be one of the biggest factors in crashes on roadways across the country while accounting for thousands of deaths a year.
Distracted driving diverts your attention from operating a vehicle and can include a number of activities like using your phone, texting, adjusting the radio, setting your navigation, applying makeup and eating or drinking.
While the National Safety Council has found that no state fully reports data required by government and traffic safety organizations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 29,000 people died in crashes involving distracted driving from 2012 to 2020. Distracted driving crashes in 2020 accounted for 13% of all injury-related crashes and 3,142 deaths nationwide, the agency said.
During Distracted Driving Awareness month in April, the NSC and NHTSA have these tips to get you to your destination safely:
Take a minute to prep before you drive
Before you take off, adjust your music, pair your phone, set up your GPS and note directions, check your texts/social media one last time, adjust your mirror and seat position.
Utilize the driving safety features on your phone
Use Apple’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature or Android Auto.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you are still distracted by your phone, try putting it in the trunk, your purse or stowing it somewhere else where it won’t tempt you.
Ask passengers for help
If you have passengers, ask them to read GPS, adjust the radio or answer phone calls/text.
If you have to take a phone call or respond to an email or text, find a safe location, park and then use your phone.
Avoid driving while drowsy and late at night
To increase alertness, avoid driving alone on little sleep and, if you feel drowsy, take a nap at a rest stop or use caffeine for a short-term boost.
Pledge to “Just Drive”
Take the National Safety Council Pledge to “Just Drive” and encourage everyone you care about to do the same.
Luckily there are usage based insurance offerings which can help you identify distracted driving behavior like MAPFRE’s MotionSmartSM . The app takes into consideration your safe driving habits, including distracted driving, and adjusts your insurance costs based on your actual driving behavior.
MotionSmart is a usage-based insurance program in Massachusetts where you receive a participation discount when each of the drivers on your policy registers in-app and starts driving. To see if you could be saving on your Massachusetts car insurance with MotionSmartSM, get a quote online. If you have questions about MotionSmart or MAPFRE Insurance, contact a Massachusetts independent insurance agent closest to you.