Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today is Distracted Driving Awareness Day -- Let's Be Safe Loudoun County Commuters

DRIVE SMART Virginia has designated today, Wednesday, April 28, as Distracted Driving Awareness Day in Virginia. With people being busier than ever, distracted driving is a growing problem.

Operating a multi-ton vehicle requires full attention but it's common to see people eating, talking on the phone, texting, programming GPS devices, putting on make-up, reading, trying to keep children occupied – all while driving.

Three Seconds. That’s All it Takes.
A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study (PDF) found that driver distraction causes 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near-crashes. In 2009, 753 people died on the roadways of Virginia. There were more than 97,000 crashes and 50,000 people injured (preliminary data from DMV). Driver inattention was a leading factor in many of these crashes.

Know the number one source of driver inattention behind the wheel? Cell phone use.

Top 10 Tips to Minimize Distracted Driving
  1. CHANGE YOUR WAYS and recognize the activities that distract you; such as eating, conversing on the phone, or changing a CD.
  2. MAKE A PLAN. Get directions, study your route, check weather and road conditions. Make sure children are properly buckled up and occupied.
  3. MANAGE YOUR TIME so that you do not have to multi-task or drive aggressively on the road
  5. SCAN the roadway to make sure that you are aware of others on the road at all times. Be prepared for the unpredictability of others.
  6. CONCENTRATE on your driving. Make sure that you are not upset or tired when getting on the road.
  7. PULL OVER to a safe place if you need to do something that will take your eyes and/or mind off of the road.
  8. REDUCE THE USE! Use GPS and other technology sensibly. Program devices before you hit the gas.
  9. TAKE A REFRESHER CLASS! A driver improvement class can raise your awareness and help you assess your driving behaviors
  10. BUCKLE UP, EVERY TRIP, EVERY TIME. Making sure that everyone is properly buckled up is the best defense against distracted drivers.

Take the pledge to drive distraction free at

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