April is Distracted Driving Awareness MonthDid you know the month of April has received the special designation of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month? Across the country, federal, state and local agencies are ramping up efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. For example, according to the US Department of Transportation, 3,154 people died in motor vehicle accidents that involved distracted drivers in 2013. Hundreds of thousands of people were seriously injured in these accidents.

Distraction while you are driving can involve your hands, eyes and/or mind. Some of the most common distractions are:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a phone
  • Talking via a hands-free device
  • Adjusting navigation, radio and/or other controls
  • Using an in-dash infotainment system
  • Eating and drinking
  • Personal grooming

To prevent distracted driving motor vehicle accidents, you can silence your phone as soon as you get behind the wheel. Consider placing your phone somewhere out-of-sight and out-of-mind, such as the back seat or in the trunk. If you are expecting an important phone call you don't want to miss, then set a special ring tone for the number and find a safe place to pull over and take the call when you hear it. Also, remember that even hands-free devices are not 100 percent risk free, and engaging in a hands-free phone conversation still distracts you from the task of driving.