April 13, 2023

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Many drivers decide every day to look at their cell phones. That decision can, and often does, become a deadly one.

Distracted driving led to 3,522 people being killed in 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the NHTSA, sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds. A vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover approximately 300 feet in that time. That’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the task of driving. Distracted drivers endanger themselves, their passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. Texting and other cell phone use are among the more common distractions, but others include:

• Eating and drinking

• Talking to passengers

• Grooming

• Reading, including maps

• Using a navigation system

• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

• Watching a video

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC) reported 1,074 construction zone crashes in 2022, resulting in 271 injuries and at least five deaths. Law enforcement reports indicate that 43% of work zone collisions in 2022 involved distracted driving. That was an increase from 40% in 2021, according to KTC’s Executive Director of the Office of Public Affairs Naitore Djigbenou.

“We want our cities, their employees, and their residents to be safe. Focusing while driving is a key to safety for everyone,” Kentucky League of Cities Loss Control Manager Aaron Parrish said. “Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel are key factors in focused driving. It’s easy to be distracted by a phone call or a text message, but nothing on your phone is as important as your safety and the safety of others.”

KLC Insurance Services encourages everyone to focus on safety while driving. The KLC Loss Control staff offers two series of videos focusing on reducing collisions and improving driver attention. You can learn more about them here and watch the videos on the KLC video library. Documented viewing of either module meets the defensive driving criteria for the KLC Insurance liability review.