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March 29, 2019 Safety News

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

According to the National Safety Council at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes every day.

With increased use of cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, and other in-vehicle technologies, distracted driving has become a safety hazard for every vehicle on the road. Although this technology provides convenience, it can lead to terrible consequences.

On June 1, 2018 the RI Hands-Free Driving Law took effect.

The new law prohibits any driver's use of hand-held wireless communication devices and made it illegal for drivers to hold a cell phone or other wireless device while operating a vehicle. The use of headphones or other accessories that cover both ears also is not allowed. Visit the RI Department of Transportation Hands-Free to learn more.

Is it really safe to use hands-free devices while driving?

Unfortunately, using a hands-free device does not eliminate the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Hands-free devices offer no safety benefits because they do not eliminate mental distraction. The brain cannot process two mentally complex tasks at once and, as it switches from a cell phone conversation to driving and back again, the brain becomes so overloaded that drivers can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environment.

Know the facts.

MYTH:  Most car crashes are caused by malfunctions such as faulty brakes, blown tires or engine problems.

FACT:  On the contrary, 94 percent of crashes are caused by driver error. Therefore, nearly all of the crashes that happen on our roadways are 100 percent PREVENTABLE. Vehicle problems only account for about two percent of car crashes  according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A leading cause of these human errors is distractions.

Download the distracted driving infographic and share with your friends, family and coworkers.

Download Infographic

Workplace policies and education make a difference.

Every seven seconds someone is injured in a car crash and every 15 minutes someone is killed in one. As an employer, it is your responsibility to help train your employees to follow safe driving habits and avoid distractions. After all, employers absorb costs associated with these crashes caused by distracted driving whether they occur on or off the job. Workplace policies and employee education can help protect you, your employees, your organization and our community.

Ignore the distractions and #justdrive to keep us all safer on the roads.

"Just Drive" is the National Safety Council’s awareness campaign to help drivers recognize the dangers of distracted driving and eliminate preventable deaths. Visit https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/distracted-driving-awareness-month to download resources to educate your employees and help save lives.

For more safe driving resources, visit the Beacon Mutual Safety Library.

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Beacon Mutual
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Beacon Mutual

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