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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

According to the California Highway Patrol, in the average time it takes to send a text message (less than five seconds), a car traveling 60 mph will travel the length of a football field. Drivers have an average of less than one second to react to an urgent situation on the road. Looking down for even a few seconds is the equivalent of driving blindfolded.

Be aware of all three types of distractions next time you are behind the wheel:

Visual distractions. Anything that requires you to look away from the road is a visual distraction. Examples include cellphone use, checking a navigation device or radio, turning to speak to a passenger, or looking at an accident scene on the side of the road. 

Manual distractions. These distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel for tasks such as answering a cellphone, picking up a fallen item, eating and drinking, and applying makeup. 

Mental distractions. Simply thinking about anything other than driving while behind the wheel, such as work, what you need to pick up at the store, or even participating in a conversation, takes your full attention off the road.

The California Highway Patrol has this message to share with drivers:

"Safe driving is the responsibility of all motorists. Parents, as role models, are in the ideal position to demonstrate good behavior to their children. All of us who drive are responsible for keeping the roads safe. We can work together to keep roads safe by sharing this message and changing our behaviors when behind the wheel."