March 31, 2021
DCI offers tips to avoid Distracted Driving
Jefferson City, Mo. – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Missouri Department of Commerce & Insurance is taking the time to bring attention to this important issue with a public information campaign. Distracted driving is the cause of many roadway fatalities and is also tied to higher insurance costs which are passed down to consumers.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a recent report stated there were approximately 3,200 fatal automobile crashes attributed to distracted driving which equates to 9 percent of overall traffic fatalities in the U.S. The NAIC also found that insurance premiums have increased by 16 percent over the past 10 years due to distracted driving.
“It is a tragedy that so many people die each year due to distracted driving,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. “These losses of life could be avoided by taking some simple steps to help drivers stay focused on the road.”
Although most people might initially think about use of their mobile phones when it comes to distracted driving, the NAIC warns that anything else that takes the drivers attention while behind the wheel can also be a problem. Some other distractions to avoid while operating a motor vehicle include: looking after children or pets, eating, reading, applying makeup, or adjusting the radio.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent distracted driving before you turn the ignition key as suggested by NAIC:
Start sober. Don’t get behind the wheel while impaired, keeping in mind—exhaustion, medicine, alcohol, or recreational drugs.
Plan your route. Set your navigational technology before you depart and don’t touch it.
Pick your tunes. Choose your music, podcast, station, and set a volume that allows you to focus on driving.
Buckle up. Make sure you and everyone in the vehicle (even pets) are restrained in the car.
While on the roadways, follow these tips:
Obey speed limits. It is better to arrive a little late and stay alive.
Ask passengers to help you stay focused. Passengers (especially teens) speak up if the driver gets distracted.
Be a role model. Parents, your children will learn from the example you set while driving.
For more information on DCI programs or helpful tips, please visit our website at dci.mo.gov.