April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and thousands of educational programs will try to increase the number of people who understand the dangers of distracted driving. Although legislation has attempted to curb the behaviors of distracted people behind the wheel of a car, the behavior persists. This April and in all months beyond, do your part to cut down on unfocused driving. While the month is home to Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s an opportunity to consider the dangers of not paying attention all year round.

Consider just how common distracted driving has become in the American culture and the devastating consequences it can leave behind by letting these statistics soak in:

  • 11 teens suffer fatal injuries every single day due to distracted driving. As an age group, teens are disproportionately involved in distracted driving accidents and in particular, fatal crashes.
  • Although more than 90% of teens recognize the dangers of driving distracted, more than one-third report having done it recently.
  • Of all the teens hurt or killed in car accidents every single year in the United States, 21% of them were using a phone at the time of the accident.
  • At any given moment in the day, more than 660,000 American drivers are looking at their phone. That’s a number that has not changed since 2010 despite many educational programs and laws.
  • More than 400,00 individuals will be hurt in a car accident this year tied to distracted driving.
  • It takes an average of looking away for three seconds to be seriously hurt in an accident.
  • Texting and driving could carry accident risks up to six times higher than drunk driving, and yet texting and driving continues to be more socially acceptable than drunk driving.
  • One out of every four car crashes in the U.S. is tied to distracted driving.

Distracted driving is a real and pervasive problem in California and the United States. Far too many people suffer life-changing injuries or have to bury a loved one because of someone else’s choice to make a call, groom themselves, or send a text message. The consequences of an accident like that can haunt the victims as well as the person who caused it for years to come. It’s better to put the phone down and avoid the risk.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month is just around the corner. How can you play a part in spreading the word about the dangers of looking away from the road? Making a commitment to educate others and to model good behavior in your own car can help prevent devastating accidents and injuries.