WASHINGTON, D.C.- April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, as designated by the National Safety Council (NSC), and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is joining the nationwide effort to promote driver and pedestrian safety and reduce auto crashes and fatalities from distraction.
At least nine Americans die and 1000 are injured in distracted driving crashes every day, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Campaigns like Distracted Driving Awareness Month are an opportunity to convince drivers across the country to change their behavior and put down their phones while driving.
“We see it all the time — drivers are talking, texting, surfing the web, and posting on social media. These activities put pedestrians and motorists in real danger. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes for vehicle crashes and deaths nationwide,” said Eileen Gilligan, assistant vice president of public affairs at APCIA. “We need better driver behavior and stronger laws to combat distracted driving and protect everyone on the road.
“This is a top concern for insurers. We hope the dialogue on distracted driving will continue, and we urge lawmakers and other industry leaders to continue addressing the impact of motorist behavior as an important part of the road safety equation.”
Simple modifications to driver behaviors can prevent auto crashes and save lives. APCIA offers the following tips for safe driving
APCIA’s Top 5 Safe Driving Tips:
Avoid using your phone while driving. If you need to answer or make a call, pull over to a safe location. Limit other distractions as well, such as eating or fiddling with controls, and be aware that having more passengers in the car multiplies the opportunity for distraction. Secure pets in the back of the car.
Buckle up. Whether you’re traveling long distance to see friends or family or making a quick trip to the store, make sure you buckle up. Seatbelts save lives and help prevent injuries. Also, make sure kids are in the proper car or booster seats.
Plan ahead and allow extra travel time. With more drivers on the road for spring break, the potential for auto crashes increases. Plan routes in advance and be patient.
Observe speed limits, including lower speeds in work zones. Stay focused on the road and be aware of changing traffic patterns caused by construction. Enforcement penalties for texting while driving are often higher in construction zones. Be especially cautious around construction workers. They’re often working close to the highway.
Have a plan for roadside assistance. If you’re involved in a crash, beware of unscrupulous towing companies. Some towing companies take advantage of drivers after an accident by charging excessive fees and making it difficult for people to retrieve their cars. Have the phone number for your insurer or roadside assistance program ready.
APCIA’s Auto Safety Page: http://bit.ly/PCIHeadsUp
APCIA’s Safe Driving Tips Infographic: http://bit.ly/2GiNBEo
Follow APCIA on social media @TeamAPCIA and use #HeadsUp to find other safety tips.