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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Mission Viejo Police Services recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and reminds residents to be attentive drivers. Distracted driving is dangerous and claims thousands of lives each year.

Distracted driving is anything that takes attention away from driving. The three main types of distractions are visual, manual and cognitive. A visual distraction draws the driver’s eyes off the road while a manual distraction causes the driver’s hands to leave the steering wheel. A cognitive diversion veers the driver’s attention from driving. Texting, eating, grooming, reading, taking pictures or videos, talking on the phone and checking social media apps are some examples of distracted driving that can endanger drivers and passengers alike.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the ability to multitask while driving is a myth, especially when it comes to using a cell phone. The brain can’t focus on two thinking tasks such as driving and talking on the phone simultaneously. The brain switches between the two tasks, hence slowing reaction times and increasing your risk of getting into a crash. It could take just one second of your attention to change a life. Remember to practice safe driving habits and be a helpful passenger, too.

Safe driving requires your full attention. People talking on the phone while driving can miss 50% of their surroundings. It is important to keep the brain focused on the task; the California Office of Traffic Safety is reminding you to Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive. Respond to any messages after you arrive safely at your destination. For more information, visit nsc.org or ots.ca.gov.

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