Since it does not involve a foreign substance, many drivers are under the impression that distracted driving is a far less egregious offense than drunk driving. However, the facts show that simply isn’t true. Distracted driving is described as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from their primary task of driving. Not only does distracted driving but yourself in danger, but it also endangers other drivers, passengers and pedestrians on the road around you. Learn the facts and stats around distracted driving and be sure to drive undistracted the next time you head out on the road!
Distracted Driving Statistics
At any given moment, nearly 700,000 American drivers are using a cell phone or some other form of handheld, electronic device. This means that at any given moment, nearly 700,000 American drivers are 4 times more likely to get into a serious accident and injure themselves. Much of this augmented risk is attributable a significant decrease in focus. Driving while using reduces the amount of brain activity normally associated with driving by 37%.
The effects of distracted driving are even more pronounced for young drivers. Of all fatal crashes involving drivers under the age of twenty-one, 11% were distracted at the time of the crash. This unusually high figure seems proportionate to teen cell-phone use. In a recent study, 25% of teens admitted to answering a text message at least once every time they driver. Moreover, 20% reported having engaged in an extended, multi-message conversation while driving.
Distracted Driving Prevention
As with any serious social problem, great strides must be made to find a solution. Legislation, though certainly a large step in the right direction, can only do so much. The rest is left up to you. Here are a few basic steps you can take to help curtail distracted driving.
- Be smart. Don’t text and drive.
- Be courteous. Care about your friends and family. Don’t send a message or call them if you know they are driving.
- Be in control. Remember: it’s your phone. You can take control by turning it off while driving.
- Be an example. Whether you are with friends or family, remember that people are watching you. Make it a habit of not driving with your cell phone on.
If everyone elects to follow these simple tips, we will go a long way in improving driver safety. Remember: it takes two to text. Don’t put those you love at risk by enabling distracted driving.