Do Your Part to Keep Our Roads Safe
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (June 08, 2012) — Auto manufacturers work hard to make sure you are as safe as possible when on the road. When you get behind the wheel, do you do your part to ensure your safety as well?
Most people learned the basics of driving at a young age, but it’s amazing how quickly the basics are forgotten once we get comfortable cruising the highways. The next time you’re using your drive time to mentally make a grocery list, chat with your grandmother in another state, text your spouse your arrival time or funnel food to hungry kids in the backseat, consider these facts:
• Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded at 55 miles per hour.1
• 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers.2
• Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.1
• Lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.3
• Over 6,700 people are injured each year in backover crashes.4
• On average, weather-related crashes account for 24 percent of all vehicle crashes.5
• In the presence of fog causing low visibility the average speed of traffic slows 10-12 percent.5
• Although hydroplaning typically only occurs at higher highway speeds (approx. 55 mph), wet pavement causes an average of 1.1 million vehicle crashes each year and accounts for 75 percent of weather-related crashes.5
During this National Drive Safe Month, Farm Bureau Financial Services encourages drivers to consider ways to make each trip a little safer. That may mean taking a moment to walk around the car ensuring the path is clear before backing up, double-checking a child’s car seat restraints, or simply putting down the cell phone. A few extra moments spent on safety can save your life when on the roads today.
1 Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving, accessed June 1, 2012
2 “Cell Phone and Texting Laws,” Governors Highway Safety Association, accessed June 4, 2012,
3 “Traffic Safety Facts,” 2009, NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis,
4 “Vehicle Backover Avoidance Technology Study - Report to Congress,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accessed June 1, 2012