April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Tallahassee, Fla.(970 WFLA)- The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is urging motorists to eliminate distractions while driving in an effort to reduce distracted driving crashes statewide. 

The Florida Highway Patrol is partnering with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association and AAA – The Auto Club Group to promote April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

In 2017, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida.  That means, on average in 2017, there were 958 distracted driving crashes per week.  Distracted driving crashes have increased 25 percent since 2013.  Last year, these distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,000 serious bodily injuries and 200 fatalities.

There are different types of driver distractions, including: visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel) and cognitive (mind not on driving).  Texting is one of the most dangerous driver distractions since it involves visual, manual and cognitive distractions.   However, texting is not the only distracted driving behavior; other dangerous driving distractions include putting on makeup, tending to children in the backseat, eating, tuning the radio, checking GPS navigation and even daydreaming. 

April had the third highest number of distracted driving crashes in 2017, followed by March and October, respectively. 

In 2017, drivers age 20–24 were responsible for the highest number of distracted driving crashes, followed closely by 25–29 year-olds and 15–19 year-olds. 

Distracted driving crashes involving electronic devices accounted for nine percent of distracted driving crashes for 20-29 year-olds and were highest of any age group.

Click here for more information for the Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign

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