According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is "...any activity that diverts attention from driving." This includes activities such as:
In 2019, 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving. It is important to note, however, that not all distractions are the same.
This can happen while checking a text or looking back at another passenger in the rear view mirror.
This can happen when adjusting navigation settings or reaching for far or fallen objects.
This can happen while daydreaming about events from the past or the day ahead.
of Distracted Driving
The greatest cause of distracted driving is texting or talking on the phone while driving.
The National Safety Council estimates that 26% of all car crashes involve cell phones. Even hands-free phones are not substantially safer as you can take your mind off driving during conversation.
The National Safety Council estimated over 42,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. They have since released preliminary estimates that show a 16% increase in motor vehicles deaths in the first six months of 2021.
KNOW THE STATISTICS
Distracted driving is a growing epidemic among teens. Lack of experience and skills make teens more susceptible to driving while distracted. Activities like eating breakfast, applying makeup, adjusting the radio, and talking to other passengers while driving are dangerous. Taking eyes off the road for even a few seconds could cost a life.
Teens are 6 times more likely to crash while driving when attempting to dial a phone number, while texting increases their risk of crashing by 23 times.
In addition to passengers, distracted driving is a risk to pedestrians as well. Following driving rules and regulations is a crucial part of ensuring pedestrian safety. Driving while distracted makes it hard to adhere to safe driving practices.
KNOW THE NUMBERS
In 2019, 6,250 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. That is one pedestrian every 85 minutes.
State legislature and governors currently determine distracted driving laws. Many states have laws addressing specific distractions, such as texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. In states with graduated drivers licensing (GDLs), violating distracted driving laws could lead to a delay or suspended license.
Get Involved Locally
Prepare what you need before you leave
Store loose possessions and other gear so nothing rolls around
Pull over, if needed, to handle tasks that demand your attention
Eat before or after your trip, not while driving
Have passengers help with any needs so you can focus on driving safely
Learn about the distracted driving laws in your state
Staying safe with New Technology
It is important that drivers do as much as possible to avoid distractions while driving. In addition to personal responsibility, advancing automotive technology is helping drivers stay as safe as possible.
Enhancing Driver Safety