April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that our roads are more dangerous than ever. On an average day, eight people are killed in distraction-affected crashes and hundreds more are injured.
This has become a deadly epidemic, so it is important to spread the word that driving distracted, including hands-free phone use, puts everyone at risk. When we are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, we should be focused on only one thing: SAFE DRIVING.
Driving distracted is considered any activity that diverts attention from driving. This includes talking or texting, eating, drinking, talking to your passengers, and fiddling with the stereo or navigation system. Every five seconds a vehicle crashes on a U.S. roadway, and every twelve minutes someone dies as a result. If your focus is not on driving safely, this puts everyone in danger.
3 Types of Driving Distractions
Visual driving distractions are doing things such as checking your GPS or navigation system, adjusting the radio, or looking for lost items on the floor that cause you to take your eyes off the road.
Manual driving distractions cause you to take your hands off the wheels such as eating, drinking, smoking, checking your phone, or setting a destination in the navigation system.
Cognitive driving distractions take your focus and concentration away from driving such as talking to passengers, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fatigue, and road rage.
Distracted drivers are less likely to safely respond to adverse roadways and weather conditions. The most common distraction is talking on the phone and texting. If you need to send or read a text, simply pull over to a safe location and park your car. You can only drive safely if the task of driving has your full attention.
Causes of Distracted Driving
- Talking on the phone or texting
- Talking with passengers
- Adjusting audio or climate controls
- Moving or reaching for objects or animals
- Eating or drinking
- Rubbernecking or outside distractions
For the past decade, driving distracted has taken U.S. roadways by storm, endangering the drivers, their passengers, pedestrians, and others using the road. Louisiana has laws against distracted driving that prohibit certain behaviors. Although, some exceptions do apply.
Behaviors Prohibited When Driving in Louisiana
- Reading, writing, or sending text messages.
- The use of social media.
- Drivers under the age of 16 are not permitted to use wireless devices, not even hands-free.
- Cell phone use is illegal for drivers under the age of 18, drivers with learner’s permits, and new drivers of any age for one year after receiving their license.
- The use of a cell phone and other portable electronic devices is prohibited in active school zones.
Emergency Exceptions When Driving in Louisiana
- The use of a cell phone while driving if you are reporting an emergency such as a traffic hazard, accident, fire, etc.
- Obtaining help when someone’s personal safety is at risk.
- Reporting a criminal act against someone.
- Being legally parked.
- If someone is operating an emergency vehicle and they must use their cell phone as part of their job.
The fines for driving distracted in Louisiana are among the highest in the country. If the violation results in a collision, then the fines are doubled. This will also affect your insurance rates. Louisiana laws are designed to combat distracted driving because it is so dangerous.
It is easy for a driver to drift between lanes, ignore traffic signs and signals, and overlook other individuals’ presence while texting and driving. As a driver, simply put the phone away when you get behind the wheel. Make the commitment to get where you are going safely and save the texting until you get home.
TSL Insurance Group is your local insurance company trained to analyze personal and business needs. This includes providing information on how distracted driving can affect your auto insurance policy.
If you are trying to get an idea of the level of coverages on various insurance options that are available for you from reputable carriers, such as Allstate, Met Life, and Progressive insurance in Lafayette, LA, contact us today. We also have locations in Franklin and Abbeville, LA, to better provide insurance solutions to customers throughout the Acadiana and surrounding areas.
TSL Insurance Group is dedicated to providing the best customer service experience and peace of mind. We are the one-stop shop for all things insurance.