Distracted driving – everybody’s talking about it, what is it and how do we stop it?
Facts About Distracted Driving
According to one report taken from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website:
*15 people are killed, and more than 1,200 people are injured in car wrecks that were reported to involve a distracted driver every day in the United States.
*Distractions include taking your eyes off the road; taking your hands off the wheel; and taking your mind off what you are doing.
- In a recent year, more than 3,400 people died in car accidents that were reported to involve a distracted driver, and another 448,000 people were injured.
- Among those killed or injured in these crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injuries included cell phone use as the major distraction.
- The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of a fatal crash has increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
*25% of drivers in the United States reported that they “regularly or fairly often” talk on their cell phones while driving.
*75% of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 29 reported that they talked on their cell phone while driving at least once in the past 30 days, and nearly 40% reported that they talk on their cell phone “regularly” or “fairly often” while driving. View our teenage distracted driver infographic.
*52% of U.S. drivers ages 18-29 reported texting or e-mailing while driving at least once in the last 30 days, and more than a quarter report texting or e-mailing “regularly” or “fairly often” while driving.
* Nine people die and over 1000 are injured each day in the United States because of a distracted driver. In fact, distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents in the United States.
Three Main Distractions
Distracted driving is defined as driving while your attention is diverted away from driving. There are three main distractions for drivers, they are:
* Visual distractions
* Manual distractions and
* Cognitive distractions
Visual distractions are the easiest to understand, and they are activities that divert your eyes off of the road and onto something else. Such as looking at a text or even interacting with another passenger.
Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel to tend to other activities such as eating or drinking or adjusting the radio.
Cognitive distractions can be things like day-dreaming or taking your mind off driving.
Many sources can lead to distracted driving.
From adjusting the radio, inputting an address into a GPS, turning to speak to a passenger or to tend to a child all can lead to a serious accident if you are not careful.
The problem of distracted driving is significant and has increased in the last 15 years with technology. Today our society is one that is “connected” and has increased the number of car accidents because of distractions related to distracted driving.
Last year alone, almost 20% of the injury accidents are from distracted driving. To give you an idea of how connected our society is, more than 200 billion text messages are exchanged in the United States each month!
Younger Drivers are More Susceptible to Distracted Driving
Studies have shown that younger drivers under the age of 20 are at an increased risk of accidents by distraction and also have the highest percentage of distracted-related fatal accidents.
Please watch where you are going – you may not get a second chance to make the poor decision to drive distracted.
Take the focused driver pledge!