Put your phone down, just drive

ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday marks the second annual Do Not Disturb While Driving Day. The main goal for the day is to raise awareness.

“Put it in that do not disturb mode. You won’t hear texts, you won’t hear emails, you won’t hear any more notifications,” Morgan Dean, manager of public and government affairs at AAA said.

“It’s a good reminder to drivers to do everything they can to limit distractions when they’re behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds more than doubles your risk of being in a crash,” he said.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2021 there were about 21,000 distracted driving-related crashes which was up 17% from the year 2020.

“Here’s the thing though, a lot of distraction-related crashes are not reported or are underreported, because sometimes if the driver’s self-reporting, they don’t want to tell on themselves,” he said.

AAA reminded drivers about the hangover effect of distractions while driving.

“It takes your brain about 27 seconds to transition from what you are doing on that screen to being back focused on what’s on that road right in front of you. Think about how far you can drive if you had just taken off from a stop light because you were looking at that phone down the road before your brain is fully re-engaged with focusing on what’s in front of you,” Dean said.

AAA encourages drivers to use the “Do Not Disturb” while driving to keep you and others safe on the roads. When using this setting on phones, the calls and texts are temporarily blocked and once you turn the setting off, these notifications will be available when you are off the road.

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