Distracted Driving Is Deadly
Distracted driving is the number one killer of teens in the United States, and takes the lives of more than 3,000 people of all ages every year. Every single day, at least 100 Americans are injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving. For Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, iLendingDIRECT encourages you to learn more about what constitutes distracted driving and how you can prevent it.
What Is Distracted Driving?
When we talk about distracted driving, it’s common to think first about texting and driving. With the rise of smartphones, texting quickly became one of the leading causes of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
While mobile phone usage is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, there are many other behaviors that you might not realize should be avoided. Any activity that takes your attention away from the road can be dangerous, including eating or drinking, paying too much attention to the entertainment or navigation system, and yes—trying to wrangle your kids’ behavior in the back seat.
How You Can Prevent Distracted Driving
Traffic fatalities from distracted driving are 100% preventable. Here’s what you can do to avoid distractions and drive safely:
- Put your phone away. Turn your mobile devices off or put them in Do Not Disturb While Driving mode before driving. Never text while driving, and if you need to make a call or utilize navigation, use 100% handsfree accessories.
- Just drive. When you’re driving, you should only be driving. You should not be eating, looking after children or pets in the back seat, applying makeup, or anything else that takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.
- Be a role model for others. Talk to teens about the importance of safe driving and don’t be afraid to call out your friends and family members for unsafe driving habits. It can save a life!
- Always wear your seatbelt. While you can pledge to drive without distractions, you can’t control other motorists. Make your safety within your own vehicle a priority.
Distracted Driving & iLendingDIRECT
At iLendingDIRECT, distracted driving education and prevention is a cause that is particularly close to our hearts. In 2014, our company’s Founder & CEO, Patrick Fitzgerald, was bicycling home from the office when he was struck and killed by a distracted driver. Nancy Fitzgerald, now President & CEO, lost her husband and the father to her young children. Our iLendingDIRECT family lost an incredible leader and visionary.
When we refinance our customers’ auto loans, they become part of our family, too. For your safety and everyone else’s, we urge you to do your part to prevent distracted driving. From our iLendingDIRECT family to yours, please travel safely.
To learn more about distracted driving and learn how you can get involved with education, prevention, and legislation, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.