Distracted Driving Month 2016: Take Back Your Drive

Each April, Stonehouse Signs, as a committed safety sign and tag manufacturer and a founding member of the National Safety Council (NSC), recognizes Distracted Driving Month. It is estimated that in 2014, distracted driving killed over 3,100 people in the U.S. Distracted Driving Month is designed to create awareness of this growing issue to help increase road safety.

Stonehouse Signs Buckle Up and Drive Carefully SignThis year, the theme of Distracted Driving Month is “Take Back Your Drive.” In the past couple years, Distracted Driving Month has focused on the risks of texting while driving, and the risks even hands-free cell phone use can pose. This year has an even broader focus – the month is focused on the dangers all technology use poses while driving. This includes using apps like Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter, checking or sending emails, taking pictures or videos, using voice-to-text on your cell phone, interacting with your car’s dashboard, using vehicle navigation and more.

Like past years, the NSC is working to get drivers thinking about driving safety in bigger ways than what is currently legal and illegal. Some interesting safe driving facts they report include:

  • Using your phone while at a red light is still a safety hazard, as drivers remain distracted for 30 seconds after they finish a call, text or use the dashboard system.
  • Fifty percent of drivers believe their in-dash system is safe because it came with their car. In fact, these systems have not yet been tested for safety.
  • Car crashes are the number one cause of workplace deaths in the U.S., and more than 90 percent of all car crashes are caused by driver error.
  • At any time, about 9 percent of drivers are talking on their cell phones and 2 out of every 3 drivers report that they talked on their phone while driving at least once in the last month.
  • Hands free devices are not any safer than hand-held devices, despite over 80 percent of drivers believing they are safer. Many studies found that drivers using both hand-held and hands-free devices failed to see 50 percent of their surroundings. And about 26 percent of all car crashes involved cell phone use.
  • Researchers found that drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than legally drunk drivers (.08 blood alcohol content.)

For employers, distracted driving can be more than just a safety hazard, it can also be costly. The NSC states, “An employer may be held legally accountable for negligent employee actions if the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of a crash,” and that already there are companies that have been found liable for damages from crashes that were due to employee cell phone use. Distracted Driving Month is an excellent time for employers to create or reinforce their workplace driving and cell phone policies, and to take steps to ensure policy enforcement.

For more information on distracted driving, visit our other distracted driving pages:

Since its founding in 1863, Stonehouse Signs has produced high-quality visual communications solutions for various industries and the government. The company specializes in custom products for safety, information and accident prevention, and manufactures a full line of safety signs and facility signssafety tags, vinyl safety decals, and custom magnetic whiteboards designed for extended outdoor life, harsh environments and demanding applications. For more information call 1-800-533-9914 or visit www.stonehousesigns.com.

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