With the increase of recent fatal motor vehicle accidents throughout the area, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is making a special plea to member-owners in observance of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
“Distracted driving has become a deadly occurrence on our roads,” said Glenn Brown, the co-op's safety and loss control coordinator. “Something as simple as sending a quick text can rob you of seconds that you may need to avoid a close call or deadly crash.”
Brown explained while texting behind the wheel seems to be at the top of the list of endless distractions, other risky actions include talking on your phone or to passengers, setting your navigation, adjusting your radio, drinking coffee, and applying makeup.
“Regardless of the distraction, nothing is as important as another life,” Brown expressed. “That’s why this month is a good time to regroup and hold ourselves accountable for our choices when we're on the road.”
Follow these safety tips for a safe ride every time:
- Need to send a text? Pullover and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not scroll through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Take action and hold friends and family accountable by:
- Remind your friends and family: If you're in the driver's seat, it's the only thing you should be doing. No distractions.
- If your driver is texting or otherwise distracted, tell them to stop and focus on the road.
- Ask your friends to join you in pledging not to drive distracted. You could save a life. Share your pledge on social media to spread the word — #JustDrive.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (https://www.nhtsa.gov/es/distracted-driving/april-distracted-driving-awareness-month)