FLORIDA - In Florida, 95 percent of drivers said texting while driving is their No. 1 concern, followed by driving when tired, grooming and talking on a cellphone.
“Texting while driving is an activity that can divert a person’s attention away from the task of driving,” Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA, said. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. The key to safe driving is learning to manage possible distractions.”
In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, AAA released its top five tips to avoid texting while driving.
1. Silence your cellphone and turn off the vibration mechanism: Airplane mode is a setting available on many mobile phones. When activated, it suspends many of the device's signal transmitting functions, thereby disabling the phone's capacity to place or receive calls or use text messaging.
2. Ask for help: Remind the people in your vehicle to be a good passenger and enlist their help. Ask your passengers to handle tasks such as texting, placing a call or reprogramming your GPS.
3. Ask family, friends and colleagues to respect your commute: Set mobile device boundaries and politely ask them not to contact you during the hours of your commute.
4. Place your phone in the glove compartment or trunk: The old adage, "out of sight, out of mind," can be applied here. Wait until you’re at your destination or safely pull into a gas station or rest area to check messages.
5. Download a safety app: Get some technological help. Many mobile safety apps can help discourage texting while driving.
In 2014, an estimated 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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