PC Tip of the Month

Don't Drive Distracted

August 2015 – by Per Christensson

We've all heard the phrase, "Don't text and drive." As the prevalence of smartphones has increased, it has become even more commonplace than the warning, "Don't drink and drive." Still, many people ignore the advice.

Rarely a day goes by that I don't see someone texting on their phone as I am driving on the road. Often the driver is not driving the correct speed or is taking up part of the lane next to him. While we can joke about how annoying distracted drivers can be, the danger they pose is a serious issue.

According to the US goverment's Distracted Driving website, over 400,000 people are injured in distracted driving accidents each year and several thousand are killed. As one familiar slogan says, "No text is worth a life."

But distracted driving is more than just texting while on the road. It is checking Facebook, posting pictures on Instagram, Snapchatting, and even checking directions on Google Maps. All of these things take your eyes off the road and significantly lower your response time. Even if you are good at multitasking, looking at your phone slows down your ability to react to unexpected events on the road. This puts you and other drivers at risk.

So please take the the advice to avoid distracted driving seriously. You don't need to respond to all texts right away and you certainly don't need to check your Facebook while your piloting a car on a busy road. If you're driving to a new place, take a moment to look up the directions on your Maps app instead of doing it after you're already moving in your car. You owe it to yourself and those around you to not drive distracted.

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