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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving, such as texting, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, or even adjusting the radio.
Did you know that it is illegal in the State of Minnesota to text and drive? Yet so often we catch others sneaking a peek at their phones or trying to get in a quick text before anyone notices. Well, five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field, blindfolded (VTTI, 2009). Did you also know that you are prohibited to wear earphones or earbuds while driving? They prevent you from hearing sirens or remaining aware of sudden traffic changes. And yet many people still wear them, either listening to music or phone messages.
Statistics don't lie: 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of an accident. Drivers in their 20s make up 27% of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes. Don't assume you're immune to the rules of the road!
Some easy tips to help prevent distracted driving:
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010 (NOPUS).
Do your part and make the commitment to drive phone-free today. Sign the pledge HERE, and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Together we can save thousands of lives, including your own.
April 1: Cigarette advertising banned in U.S. (1970).
April 2: World War I: Battle of the Somme (1916-1918).
April 3: Pony Express service began (1860).
April 4: Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in Memphis, TN (1968).
April 5: Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in WV killed 29 (2010).
April 6: America entered World War I (1917).
April 7: Beer sales began following repeal of Prohibition (1933).
April 8: Long Acre Square in NYC renamed Times Square (1904).
April 9: General Robert E. Lee surrendered (1865).
April 10: The Beatles disbanded (1970).
April 11: President LBJ signed Civil Rights Act (1968).
April 12: First space shuttle Columbia launched (1981).
April 13: Apollo 13 explosion (1970); Tiger Woods won Masters (1997).
April 14: President Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth (1865);
April 14: The Titanic sank after striking iceburg en route to NY (1912).
April 15: Bergen Belsen Concenration Camp liberated by Brits (1945).
April 16: Virginia Tech Massacre, 33 killed (2007).
April 17: Ford Motor Co. unveiled new Mustang @ World Fair (1964).
April 18: First baseball game played in Yankee Stadium (1923).
April 19: Boston Marathon established, world's oldest (1897).
April 20: Columbine High School shooting, 15 killed (1999).
April 21: Students protested at Tianemen Square, China (1989).
April 22: Earth Day observed for first time (1970).
April 23: Coca-Cola announced new formula called New Coke (1985).
April 24: Space Shuttle Discovery launched Hubble Telescope (1990).
April 25: Elvis Presley topped charts with "Heartbreak Hotel" (1956).
April 26: U.S. declared public health emergency: Swine Flu (2009).
April 27: Nelson Mandela elected South African President (1994).
April 28: Kon-Tiki Expedition began (1947).
April 29: U.S. Troops invaded Cambodia (1970).
April 30: George Washington inagurated as U.S. President (1789).