Facts of Distracted Driving
Driving distracted can happen in a multitude of ways but no matter how you’re distracted, it’s always dangerous. Whether you’re texting, taking your eyes off the road or even just thinking about work, you’re more likely to get into a collision than other drivers.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention away from the road. It accounts for approximately 25% of all accident fatalities. Here are just some of the many examples of distracted driving.
- Using Your Cell Phone / Smartphone
- Eating and Drinking
- Talking to Passengers
- Using a Paper Map
- Watching a Video
- Adjusting your Radio
Texting Can Wait
In some ways, smartphones have made our lives easier, with information readily available at our fingertips. While this is great in our everyday lives, cell phones and smartphones should only be used while you’re driving in the appropriate ways.
Using your cell phone or smartphone while driving is illegal in most states but on average 600,000 people are using their phone and driving on any given day. If you text while driving, you are 6 times more likely to get into an accident than if you were driving drunk. Cell phone use while driving is responsible for over 1.5 million accidents every year. These statistics are alarming and can easily be avoided with hands-free technology or even turning your phone off until you reach your destination.
Teens and Distracted Driving
Teenagers are the highest at risk of a collision caused by distracted driving. Drivers aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than any other age group. A teen driver with a passenger doubles the risk of a fatal accident and with two or more passengers they are a staggering 5x more likely.
Teens are most likely to be distracted while driving by texting but other common distractions are grooming, changing clothes and eating. Parents should always lead by example and teach teens, especially pre-teens before they start driving, that staying focused on driving is more important than any text they receive.
Distracted Driving Can Be Deadly
Always remember when you’re driving you’re not just responsible for yourself. Passengers, pedestrians and other drivers can all be affected, sometimes fatally, by decisions you make while driving.
Next time you are driving and hear your phone chime, think about yourself and the people around you. Are you willing to put your life or someone else’s life at risk to read a text or take a call that can wait? If you’re late for work and need to finish your morning routine, ask yourself if it’s important enough to cause an accident.
Distracted driving is dangerous and the statistics are shocking. Drivers, especially teens, should practice safe driving habits every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving distracted might seem like a good idea at the time but if you simply follow the rules of the road it will be a safer place to drive for everyone.