People ask us, “Is distracted driving decreasing?” With all the attention focused on the subject the question seems reasonable. So, are drivers becoming more attentive, or are an inordinate number of us still driving distracted?
Well, we do know that distracted driving related crashes have cost employers almost 19 billion dollars in 2019 alone. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 3142 people died in car crashes involving distracted driving. So, these numbers tell us that distracted driving is NOT going down.
The NHTSA found that almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the event. They found the most common distraction was phone use, then drowsiness. Reaching for a moving object increased the risk nine times. This study is one of the first to look at the effects of distracted driving.
Teens seem to be the biggest contributor to this unsafe behavior. Many teen crashes involve texting while driving. The issue is: Although many teens know texting is dangerous, a large number feel that they can text and still drive safely.
- Changing the Radio Station
- Using the Navigation System
- Personal Grooming
And on, and on – Anything that takes your attention away from focusing on the road and what’s ahead of you is a distraction
At 50 miles per hour your car is traveling over 75 feet in a mere one second. So think about it. If you look down for your dropped sunglasses for only one second, you just drove 75 feet without looking at the road. That one second can be the difference between life and death – between arriving home safely and sustaining serious injury.
The thing is, driving requires our complete attention. It is easy to forget how dangerous driving an automobile really is. Many people think they can multi-task. However, this believe is ill-founded. The brain cannot fully concentrate on two separate things at the same time. We discuss this fully in our defensive driving course. You will find the answer to the question, Is distracted driving decreasing is “no,”
So, please think of the consequences before you drive. There are no second chances once a crash takes place. The solution is simple, when we’re driving, we should DRIVE.