It’s 7:45am, and you are making the same commute you’ve made on a daily basis for the last however many years.  You are stopped at the same red light you seem to catch every morning no matter what time you leave.  A quick scroll down your newsfeed won’t hurt, right?  HONK.  You look up to all the cars in front of you on their way through the green light and a quick peak in the rearview shows an irritated fellow commuter behind you screaming at you to “move it!”  So we wave an apology and drive away.   We’ve all been there.  And we go on with our day and think nothing of it.  But then you get home, and you turn on the evening news, and another terrible story breaks the headlines of a teenager killed in a car accident because they were texting and driving.

Distracted driving is an epidemic.  Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver!  That’s PER DAY, with the large majority of those statistics coming from our nation’s young people.  88% of teens in a Liberty Mutual survey confessed to using their cell phones while driving.  Distracted driving isn’t simply sending the “on my way home” text.  In today’s constantly connected world, distracted driving has extended into many different things that draw our attention from the road.  38% of those same teens surveyed say they have used SnapChat while driving, 17% say they are guilty of going on Instagram and 12% even watch YouTube videos while cruising through our country’s neighborhoods and highways.   And those are just the ones that admitted to it……

It is a problem that impacts us all and that can very easily be fixed with three simple words that we at TEG make part of our daily vocabulary- AWARENESS, EDUCATION and ACTION. 

As Union College Professor Christopher Chabris writes in his Wall Street Journal Article, A Simple Solution for Distracted Driving, “Someday soon, cars may drive themselves, and perhaps we will be better off for it. Until then, driving remains a human task, subject to fundamental limits on our ability to pay attention.”  So obviously the only real answer is to put the phone away while we are driving and commit to focusing on the road.  At the Ten Eyck Group our staff has recently taken the pledge from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to DRIVE PHONE FREE!!!! We encourage you all to do the same today!

But let’s be real…. Stopping cold turkey?  Okay so maybe we just have to make a quick call home, or use the navigation to find our way to the new restaurant everyone is raving about.  Technology has the answer! 

1.     The very large majority of motor vehicles on the road today have software that allow voice activation calls and navigation through Bluetooth.  If you aren’t sure how to use it, stop by your dealership or even your wireless carrier store for help.  If you’re in the area, even come see us and one of our team members will gladly help you get it all set up! 

2.     For those without the high tech vehicles- there are also a number of “Drive Mode” applications on our phones that no one ever uses!  AT&T has led the distracted driving campaign with the “IT CAN WAIT” pledge and pre-installing all of their smartphones with the AT&T DriveMode.  If you don’t have AT&T phone, there are a couple of other applications you can download listed below. 

a.     Apple DriveSafe Mode (for parents)

b.     iCarMode for iPhone

c.     DriveMode for Android

We need to continue to actively communicate about the dangers associated with distracted driving and help to stop so many from getting injured, or worse, from something so preventable!  Let’s work together and be the example we need to be and drive phone free.  We are NOT going to become just part of a statistic!

Call Ten Eyck Group at (518) 464-0059 for all of your Albany car insurance needs today!
Posted 7:23 PM

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