Distracted driving is a growing problem in Wyoming and the U.S.  Texting, talking on the phone, or even eating while driving can endanger yourself and those around you.  This Saturday, April 27th, come to the Eastridge Mall and pledge against distracted driving.

Safe Communities/Safe Kids of Central Wyoming along with Casper Fire-EMS/Community Risk Reduction Division, AT&T, American National Insurance, and many others will be holding the next No Texting & Driving campaign Saturday April 27th in the center court of the Eastridge Mall from 10am-12pm.  The campaign group will then move to another table by JC Penney's from 12:30pm-1:30pm.  Come and show your support in the efforts to end distracted driving in Wyoming.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.  All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smart phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  •  Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player  (so just set your radio to this station and leave it alone.)

Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most risky distraction.  If you are used to using your phone while you drive, it can be difficult to change that habit.  Here are some ideas that could help.

  • Just Wait.  Check your phone before you start driving and then put it away.
  • Remove The Temptation.  Put your phone in a safe place that you can’t reach while you’re driving, like in the back seat.
  • Turn It Off.  Or switch it to a silent mode while you’re driving so you can’t hear it and won’t be tempted.
  • Get Off The Road.  If you just can’t wait, find a safe place to pull off the road before using your phone.  You can also use a gadget grip and set your phone on your dash so you can easily see whether a text or call is important, and then get off the road before you respond.
  • Get The App.   There are apps available for your phone that will let callers or senders know that you are driving and will get back to them when you stop.  (Examples are DriveMode and Drive Safe Mode.)  There are even apps, such as DriveScribe that will capture statistics on driving behavior and even notify friends or family members of any imperfections such as excessive speed, failure to stop at a stop sign, etc.  This is a good one for parents of teens.
  • Make A Pact.  One of the best ways to break a bad habit is to let other know that you’re going to do it.  Have the conversation about exactly what you’re going to stop doing and then make a promise to yourself and a friend or loved one, and sign our pledge!

The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans, parents and teens alike, about the danger it poses. Talk with your teen about the danger of distraction.  But remember, it’s not just teens who text while driving.  An AT&T study found that 41% of teens have seen their parents do it.