Part 1: Insurance Industry Unites on Driver Distraction

Distracted driving is a rising epidemic and an important topic to broach with drivers of all ages. At any given moment, approximately 660,000 US drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, according to NHTSA’s Distracted Driving page. In 2015 alone, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives.

In Ohio, young drivers (ages 16 to 20) are the most likely age group to be at-fault in crashes, according to 2016 Ohio crash facts reported by the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS). Young drivers are also responsible for a high number of reported distracted driver crashes, according to ODPS 2016 figures.

To help combat and bring national awareness to the dangers associated with driving distractions, the National Safety Council (NSC) has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Through this annual awareness month, NSC provides us with a platform to discuss the risks and realities of distracted driving and how it affects our lives and communities.

The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) and its members are dedicated to spreading the word on distracted driving dangers and how we can work together to improve the safety of Ohioans and all who share our roads. In Part 1 of our two-part post, we feature six of our members in a united effort to educate the public on how to eliminate driver distractions from our daily lives.

Follow and share your distracted driving programs using the hashtag #DDAM. View our daily #DDAM shares throughout the month of April via @OIIOrg. Lastly, stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 featuring more insurance industry collaborative efforts to combat distracted driving, Ohio law and more.

National Interstate: Top causes of distracted driving crashes

Road traffic injuries are projected to be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030 globally. In an effort to reduce this statistic, National Interstate Insurance (@NATLCareers), an affiliate of the Great American Insurance Group, dedicated a two-page spread in its magazine to nine of the most dangerous driving distractions that drivers encounter, including eating and drinking, sending text messages and social networking.

View National Interstate’s story featured in its The Extra Mile magazine (pages 20-21) or at this OII link.

Grinnell Mutual: Keep teens safe on the road

It’s a familiar feeling — the concern and trepidation parents experience the day their teen hits the road with as a newly licensed driver. With little supervision and lack of driving experience, teens are more likely to be in vehicle-related crashes than older adults.

To help parents take a proactive stance, Grinnell Mutual (@GrinnellMutual) suggests an open dialogue with their teenagers on the realities of distracted driving, including topics like drunk driving and how to avoid passenger distractions.

Need help starting the conversation with your teen driver? Grinnell offers parents a variety of tips and resources including how to talk to teens about distracted driving. Also see Grinnell’s comprehensive blog on distracted teen driving.

State Farm: Distracted driving behavior study

Have you ever wondered which risks lead to the most crashes? It probably comes as no surprise that the riskiest habits are associated with cell phone usage while driving.

State Farm (@StateFarm) released the results of its eighth annual survey (March 2017) that explores attitudes and behaviors about distracted driving. The report also looks at top distractions that lead to losing our driving focus, and significant driver behavior stats like how 50% of drivers admit to using a cell phone while on the road.

See State Farm’s smartphone study overview and related infographic here. View the full study, Cellphone Activities Drivers Participate in While Driving, for even more.

FCCI Insurance Group: Taking a cellphone-free pledge

FCCI Insurance Group (@FCCIGroup) kicked off its “I Promise to Drive Cell Phone-Free” campaign early this month to demonstrate how committed their team is to driver safety. Several FCCI officers and members of the risk control leadership team made a commitment to drive phone free during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Teammates and their families that take the pledge to drive without using a cell phone receive stickers to place in their vehicles or on their phones, serving as a reminder to put away these distracting devices while behind the wheel.

See FCCI’s release on their cellphone-free campaign on how they’ve created a team approach to addressing risky cell phone use behaviors.

Nationwide: Sponsor of Distracted Driving
Awareness Month

Nationwide Insurance (@Nationwide) is lending its support of #DDAM in a big way, as sponsor of the National Safety Council’s 2017 Distracted Driver Awareness Month program. Free program resources are available on the NSC site, including infographics, employer resources, a free Webinar, statistics and more.

Friends, phones and tunes are common teen driving distractions. See Nationwide’s solutions in its blog post: How to prevent teen distracted driving.

Central Mutual: Safe driving resources & teen program

Central Mutual (@Central_Ins) dedicates a variety of resources to distracted driving – from a video for teen drivers to nearly a dozen blog posts.

Beyond a plethora of online resources, Central encourages parents to enroll young drivers in its teenSMART Driver Safety Program. This program helps parents identify and address behavioral and social factors that cause most teen crashes. You can even test-drive the program and register online using discount codes.

Posted: April 19, 2017

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