April Marks Distracted Driving Month

More than 3,000 people died in distraction-affected crashes in 2020, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. Governor Doug Burgum has proclaimed April Distracted Driving Month.

“Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves, they are a danger to everyone on the road, making distraction a contributing factor in most motor vehicle crashes and near-crashes,”

The North Dakota Safety Council partners with Vision Zero to help bring awareness to North Dakota drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving is vastly underreported as a factor in a crash due to driver hesitancy to report. Yet the 2021 NDDOT Crash Summary sites 1,027 distracted driving violations posted to the ND Driver’s License system.

“We encourage every North Dakotan to use April as a time to double down on their commitment to driving distraction-free. Distracted driving is a risk that will affect your family and your friends. Take the time to value people’s lives. Drive distraction-free,” says Chuck Clairmont, Executive Director of the North Dakota Safety Council.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an observance dedicated to preventing distracted driving, which is anything that takes one’s attention away from the task of driving. Distracted driving includes everything from smartphone activity to using a navigation system or eating while driving, and there are three types of distraction: visual (taking one’s eyes off the road), manual (taking one’s hands off the wheel) and cognitive (taking one’s mind off the road). Mobile device use involves all three at once.

“This April, join the North Dakota Safety Council and JUST DRIVE,” says NDSC Driver Safety Manager Terry Weaver. “We need to stop trying to multitask. Make your focus driving, the rest can wait. Your safety and the safety of others cannot.”

The NDSC has materials you can download to help support your team this Distracted Driving Month.