Distracted driving is a dangerous practice. One that can lead to serious injury or death. Many people are guilty of distracted driving every day without even realizing it. Distracted driving is more than just talking on the phone or texting while driving. Distracted driving is engaging in any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the automobiles, roadway and pedestrians around them. It increases the risk of being involved in a crash. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that over 3,000 people die each year because of distracted drivers.
A Serious Problem
When people drive distracted they endanger their lives, their passengers lives and the lives of everyone around them. The average automobile weighs several thousand pounds and is made of metal and glass. Even at low speed, being hit by a vehicle can lead to serious injury or death. The average person wouldn’t drive blindfolded. But driving distracted often has the same result. As a driver controlling a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds, you must remain alert and focused on the roadway at all times. Being distracted for even a few seconds can lead to a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Examples Of Distracted Driving
Multi-tasking has become commonplace today and many drivers are guilty of doing it all the time. It is not unusual for people to do the following things while driving:
- Eat Or Drink
- Adjust The Stereo
- Look At A GPS Device
- Talk On The Phone
- Focus On Passengers
- Put On Makeup
- Light A Cigarette
These are all examples of distracted driving. The few seconds you take your eyes off the road to do any of the things mentioned above can be dangerous. Things can change in a flash. A car suddenly swerves or stops, a child runs into the roadway, a roadway hazard pops up, any of these things can happen while you are driving distracted and lead to a collision, injury and death. Driving distracted is negligent behavior and can result in fines and confinement for the driver and life-altering injury for the victim.
When a motorist takes their attention off the road and drives distracted, they can miss critical traffic cues. This increases their risk of being involved in a crash. When people drive while distracted, they are not in control of the vehicle or aware of the potential dangers that they can encounter. A major problem is people take distracted driving lightly. They falsely believe it’s safe to take their eyes off the road for a seconds to focus on something else. Often when people unthinkingly drive distracted for a split second it can end in death.
Selfish, Reckless And Negligent
Distracted drivers put their desires ahead of the health and safety of everyone else using the road. Without a thought about the people around them, they check their phone, change the radio station or grab a bite to eat while their vehicle is moving along in traffic. This type of reckless behavior has led to thousands of babies and children being killed, maimed or scared for life. In the United States, 10% of crashes that result in fatalities involves distracted drivers. All because these negligent drivers couldn’t wait until the vehicle stopped to fulfill their selfish desires.
Two Dangerous Seconds
Research conducted at the Transportation Institute at Virginia Tech revealed that distracted drivers whose eyes are off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of being involved in an accident. The NHTSA estimates that in almost one in every five crashes that lead to injury, distracted drivers were a factor. In many cases the driver was talking or texting while driving. Distracted drivers taking their eyes off the road for two seconds are responsible for impairing or ending the lives thousand of people each year.
Ignoring The Dangers
Studies done on road safety nationwide found while 83% of drivers said texting while driving is dangerous, many of them admit to doing it regularly. About 88% of the study’s respondents say the problem is getting worse. Almost 60% said even though they know talking on the phone while driving is a serious safety threat, they did it in the past 30 days. Awareness of the growing problem of distracted driving and automobile accidents hasn’t been able to change the behaviors of many drivers. They continue to willfully make the choice to risk people’s health and lives.
Cell Phone Use Distracts Drivers
Cell phone use is one of the most common causes of distracted driving. A report issued by the AAA Foundation showed cellphone use while driving quadruples the risk of getting into a collision. Talking on the phone while driving is distracting to drivers and until they change their behavior, the public is at a growing risk of injury or death at their hands.