April 2022 was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During the month, federal, state and local governments across the country tried to teach motorists about the dangers of distracted driving. While these efforts were not meaningless, there is still much work to do.
According to PennDOT, it is illegal for drivers to text when they are behind the wheel. While this provision of state law should address a common type of distracted driving, there are other forms of it that put countless lives in danger every single day.
Manual distractions happen when motorists take their hands off the steering wheel to do something else. This may be fiddling with the radio, sending a text message or reaching for fast food. Because drivers need both hands to drive safely, manual distractions can be exceedingly dangerous.
Even though driving can seem routine, motorists must closely watch their surroundings for other vehicles, pedestrians and other driving hazards. Because looking away for even a few seconds may cause a catastrophic accident, drivers should always keep their eyes on the road.
Drivers who commute to and from work may find it hard to shut off their brains when the workday concludes. Still, it can be risky to drive with a distracted brain. Put simply, if motorists allow their minds to wander, they may not have the mental acuity necessary to avoid an accident.
Ultimately, while using awareness months to inform drivers about the extreme dangers of texting and driving is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, awareness campaigns should focus on all possible types of distracted driving.