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Bp Driver’s Guide

Taking Action to Prevent Distractions

You'd never drive while wearing a blindfold, right? Of course you wouldn't. It could be bad for your health. It would reflect poorly on your intelligence. The list of reasons to never try it goes on and on, and it's punctuated by the fact that it's, you know, illegal.

But … have you ever done the equivalent of driving blindfolded? That's where things might get tricky.

At 55 mph, it takes just 5 seconds to travel more than 100 yards.* This means that looking away from the road for just a few moments is uncomfortably similar to driving the length of a football field with your eyes covered. Not to get all preachy, but this is the part where we stop for a moment and go, "Hmm."

“With the right apps, this summer's road trip could be the smartest one you've ever taken.”

And while we're all familiar with the things that can distract us from time to time, we might not be familiar with the laws regarding some of them.

41 states and the District of Columbia ban text messaging for all drivers. In most of them it's a "primary law," meaning that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place.*

11 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) and Washington, D.C., prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. A majority of states ban cell phone use for novice drivers (under age 18).

Even when states haven't specifically prohibited things like shaving, putting on makeup, changing clothes or reading, they often set "general distracted driving statutes" that empower officers to cite an activity that (1) is not necessary to operating the vehicle, and (2) impairs … the driver's ability to drive safely.**

We live in a fast-paced world where multitasking is a way of life, but in order to continue multitasking, we need to stay alive. So while driving, just drive. There'll be plenty of time to do 50 things at once when we get where we need to go.

*www.distraction.gov

**www.traffic.findlaw.com