Distracted driving endangers drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Distracted driving is a common occurrence in Mississippi with three quarters of current adult drivers reporting they have talked on a cell phone while driving and one-third admitting they have read, written, or sent a text message while driving. (Centers for MS Healthy Policy Brief, 2010)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 10% of fatal accidents and 17% of injuries in accidents involved distracted drivers in 2011, and distracted driving was responsible for 3,331 deaths.
Tips for Phone-Free Driving
Before You Drive
- Develop a habit of turning off your cell phone when you get in your vehicle, and turning it back on when you are done driving.
- Put your cell phone in your trunk to avoid temptation.
- Record a voice mail greeting telling callers it is not safe to make calls while driving, and you will return their call as soon as you are able.
- Organize your route and schedule to allow time to make and return phone calls from the parking lot of one location before leaving to drive to the next one. This strategy has helped employees who drive frequently to maintain productivity and accessibility.
While You Drive
- Do not make or answer cell phone calls, even with hands-free and voice recognition devices. If you must make an emergency call, leave the road and park in a safe area.
- Do not send or read text messages or email.
- Have a passenger use the phone for you.
- Let someone else drive so that you can freely make or receive calls.
- Enjoy phone-free driving; focus on the road. Protect your life and those around you.
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Are You at Risk from Distracted Driving?
While driving, do you . . .
- Think you can safely look away for more than one second?
- Eat, drink, shave, or engage in other personal activities?
- Text or talk on your cell phone?
- Answer your cell phone without stopping in a safe place?
- Listen to anything that requires ear buds in your ears?
- Feel fatigued or drowsy?
- Try to deal with children or pets without stopping?
If you said yes to even one item, you are at risk.
Nearly 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near-crashes involved driver distraction during the last 3 seconds before the incident.