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NSC Promotes Distracted Driving Awareness

The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.

The National Safety Council (in the U.S.) has identified the top driver behaviours and beliefs that put all roadway users at risk and increase the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

“The alarming driver habits and opinions could help partially explain why deaths are rising,” says the report, “and underscores the importance of raising awareness,” particularly in April which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“The notion that bad things happen to other people, but will not happen to us when we are distracted behind the wheel, is akin to playing Russian roulette,” says Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council

Some of the top distressing things drivers do, or believe, include:

  • 47% of drivers believe it is safe to send a text either manually or via voice-dictation systems.
  • 45% say they feel pressure from employers to check email while driving; however, 44 percent say they have crashed in the last three years while they were either commuting or traveling for business.
  • 35% of teens—a cohort that has seen an increase in fatal crashes—would use social media behind the wheel.
  • 17% of teens feel their own distraction may have contributed to a crash.
  • 71% believe they can have up to 3 drinks before they are not safe or too impaired to drive.
  • 33% believe it is acceptable to drive with less than four hours of sleep. In fact, drivers who are tired can be as impaired as drivers who are legally drunk.
  • 32% say new cars can essentially drive themselves.
  • 13% have driven after using marijuana in the last month.
  • Two-thirds of drivers have felt unsafe because of another driver’s distraction, but just 25 percent feel their own distractions have put themselves or others at risk.
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