Safety and Injury Prevention Driving Safety Over 40,000 deaths occur each year as a result of traffic crashes in the U.S.Driving a car is something many Americans do every day. It’s also one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Some of the primary causes of death in these traffic crashes include unbelted passengers, excessive speed, distractions, impairments and aggressive driving.Seatbelts save lives. See our seatbelt safety page for more on passenger safety.Distracted DrivingSometimes, something as simple as a text message or a fallen French fry is all it takes for our attention to completely leave the roadway. The average distraction takes the driver's eyes off the road for a full four seconds. That's long enough to cover the length of a football field at just 60 MPH.Watch this video showing distractions behind the wheel to see some examples.A distraction is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off of driving. Here are a few great tips on removing distractions behind the wheel:Make sure your phone is silenced and out of reachDon’t try to eat while behind the wheel, food is a very big distractionAlways have your passenger handle things like texting, changing music and navigation when possible.Always set your navigation and music before you pull awayPlan ahead to you aren’t rushed and don’t feel like you have to try and multitaskEven passengers can be a huge distraction, make sure your first priority is keeping everyone safeImpaired DrivingAlcohol, impairing substances and even fatigue can cause a serious problem behind the wheel. Anything that will cause slower reaction times and impair judgment behind the wheel is putting the driver and everyone around them at a very high risk of injury and fatality.Whether you are impaired or even just really sleepy, play it safe and don’t drive. Here is a firsthand testimony about the cost of drinking and driving. TRAUMA & ACUTE CARE SURGERY Follow Injury Prevention at CoxHealth on Facebook. Get the latest injury prevention tips, news, and other updates from CoxHealth. right Follow Injury Prevention at CoxHealth on Facebook.