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Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
Driving is a visual task and non-driving activities that draw the driver's eyes away from the roadway should always be avoided.
As of July 1, 2010, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving. For a first offense, motorists are fined $100. Subsequent offenses cost $200.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual - taking your eyes off the road
- Manual - taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive - taking your mind off the drive
Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves all three types of distraction.
Distracting activities include:
- Texting or messaging
- Checking social media
- Talking on the phone, even hands-free
- Watching videos
- Eating, drinking, or smoking
- Looking after children or pets
- Chatting with passengers
- Searching or reaching for an item
- Looking at crashes or roadside sights
- Checking a navigation system
- Reading anything, including maps
- Adjusting climate or music controls
- Listening to loud music
How not to be distracted:
- Use your phone's Do Not Disturb feature or an app to silence calls and texts.
- Put your phone in the glove box or elsewhere to curb the urge to look at it.
- Avoid eating, drinking, and smoking while driving.
- Never attempt to read while driving, including a map.
- Do not do any personal grooming or adjust your clothing while driving.
- Avoid a lot of interaction with passengers.
- Emotions can interfere with driving. Do not drive when you are angry or upset.
- Keep music at a reasonable level, and avoid using headphones or earbuds.
- Pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle if you need to make or take a call.
- Do not drive with a pet on your lap.
- Ask a passenger to help navigate, change the music, or monitor your texts.
- Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children.
- Do not daydream when you are behind the wheel.
DISTRACTED DRIVING MONTH CAMPAIGN
Resources for Law Enforcement Agencies:
Resources for Schools: