driver using mobile phone while driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Advancements and updates in technology have added distractions to virtually every aspect of modern life, but they have become increasingly troublesome to drivers. And while 48 states have enacted texting bans to prevent dangerous and deadly consequences on the road, drivers continue to use their smartphones behind the wheel.

Common distractions:

  • Talking or texting on your phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to people in your vehicle
  • Fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system

"Even if drivers perform some of these tasks while parked or stopped at a red light, once you start moving, and even after you stop using the technology, your mind is still not fully focused on the task of driving for up to 27 seconds," said Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and governmental affairs at AAA Northeast, in a recent publication. "This is a dangerous situation that could lead to inattention blindness, where you're looking at the road but not seeing what's in front of you, putting other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians at risk."

Reading an email behind the wheel is like driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded, and taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles the chances of being involved in an accident. The consequences of distracted driving are so similar to driving while intoxicated that AAA has termed the activity " driving while intexticated."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures over 1,000 Americans every day.

Due to their size and weight, trucks require longer stopping distances. So, commercial truck drivers and even consumers operating rental trucks must minimize any distractions behind the wheel to maximize safety and comply with applicable laws.

To spotlight National Distracted Driving Awareness Month – and encourage safe driving every day – Penske offers these tips from AAA:

  • Put it away – Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
  • Know where you're going – If using a navigation system, program your destination before driving.
  • Pull over – If you have to call or text while driving, pull off the road safely and stop first.
  • Ask passengers for help – If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
  • Be a good passenger – Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
  • Don't be a distraction – Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.

Penske is the exclusive moving truck rental provider for AAA and CAA members. Be sure to show your AAA or CAA membership card to save more than 20 percent on your next rental truck with Penske. So remember, Penske Truck Rental and AAA save you more on your moving budget.

By Hope Reginella