Distracted Driving Awareness Month is no April Fools' joke

Whether New Orleans residents manually flipped a paper page or a smartphone application automatically updated the calendar for them, we've moved into the month of April. Only a few hours into the day, many of our readers have probably already heard some mention of April Fools' Day -- maybe it was a simple ad in an email about a deal or a complicated prank.

April Fools' Day may kick off the month every year, but the National Safety Council wants to remind individuals that some things are no joke. April 2014 has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NSC created a page on their website that educates drivers about the behavior through online pamphlets and infographics.

One of these online pamphlets exposes the myths behind hands-free driving features. Did you know that studies have found that the technology that allows drivers to speak text messages is even more distracting than physically typing them? Why? A driver focuses on thinking about what they’ll say, reading the message to make sure that it is correct and then editing any mistakes.

Another page discusses the statistics surrounding these types of car accidents, including the data that shows that 350 fatal collisions in 2011 involved the use of a cellphone. That number is already a serious stat, and this page says that it may be under-representative of the true problem because not all of these collisions are reported.

There is even a link included on the site that allows drivers to “take the pledge to drive cell free.” The users can add their name to a list of drivers that want to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, at least where distracted driving is concerned.

Awareness campaigns can only do so much; drivers are the ones that have to honor that pledge and take care while on the road. When they don’t, there are personal injury attorneys that can help the victims.

Source: National Safety Council, “Recognize April 2014 as Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” Accessed April 1, 2014

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