About Distracted Driving
Did you know about 3,000 people die from distracted driving in a year? If you are aware of what distracted driving is, you may be mindful of what distracted driving is. Everyone should understand what distracted driving is and what causes it so anyone can take steps to be safer on the road. To learn more, we compiled ten facts about distracted driving:
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that doesn’t relate to driving while sitting behind the wheel. Three main types of distracted driving can increase your risk of accidents, ultimately lowering your safety.
Distracted Driving: Employee Training Strategies for Preventing Driving Dangers
The first type of distracted driving is manual. This is when you do any activity that takes your hands off the wheel, such as searching for something in the car or texting.
The second type is cognitive. You are cognitively distracted whenever you take your mind off driving. This can be when you let your mind wander, thinking of work or even home.
The last type of distracted driving is visual. You are visually distracted whenever you take your eyes off the road. This can be as simple as looking at a house while driving or even checking out accidents on the side of the road as you go by.
Even if you think you’re the safest driver on the planet, at one point in time, you most likely were affected by distracted driving by either yourself or another person. It’s good to remember that everyone is distracted when driving at some point. Still, you’re in complete control of how distracted you allow yourself to become.
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How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving?
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides us with some facts about distracted driving. Their study on driving distractions back in 2009 shows that texting raised fatal accident risk by 23.2 times. Compared to a non-distracted driver.
States improved road safety after this research. Since 2009, DC and 48 states have prohibited texting while driving. Distracted driving numbers continue to rise, killing nine people a day. These accidents hurt thousands daily.
In 2014, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute issued a new report on distracted driving. This research found that phone use increases inattentive driving. Reaching for the phone, texting, or using speakerphone are examples. These data show how hazardous distracted driving is. Distracted driving might be much more dangerous than drunk driving.
Distracted Driving Facts That Everyone Should Know
We are here to give you a few statistics to get an even better insight into how dangerous distracted driving is. These statistics will help you to see the bigger picture so you can do your best not to become distracted the next time you’re behind the wheel.
303 Million People Have Cell Phones in the United States and Most of Them Drive
Around 303 million people in the United States have cell phones. At any moment during daylight hours, it’s estimated that more than 800,000 cars and other motor vehicles are being driven by someone using a handheld phone. This means that there are 800,000 chances that someone will be in an accident, fatal or not, due to distracted driving.
More Than 2 Million People Are Involved in Crashes Every Year
Every year around 2.5 million people are the subject of a car crash. Of these 2.5 million crashes, distracted driving is the leading cause. This can be put into a better perspective when you know that around 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving-related crashes daily.
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Deaths From Car Crashes Are Steadily Rising
It’s suggested that deaths caused by car accidents are on the rise. This is thanks to all the distractions drivers encounter daily.
When it comes to inside the car, many distractions make it hard for us to concentrate on the road entirely. These distractions include listening to music or a podcast and looking at things like your touch screen or GPS.
When it comes to distractions outside the car, this can make it just as hard to focus on the road in front of you. From trying to figure out which turn to take to navigating construction areas, these are also things that can distract you from driving and make you a risk to yourself and others.
Multitasking Is a Lie
Multitasking is a dangerous distraction that can lead to accidents. Research shows that the brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time, so multitasking makes it difficult to focus on each activity. Texting while driving slows eye activity, impairs problem-solving, and can even lead to death.
Teens Have a Greater Risk of Having an Accident
When it comes to teens driving distracted, they are more at risk of having fatal crashes. The crash rate for teens who drive with distractions is three times greater than for those aged 20 and older.
This means teens are more likely to get into a crash and for it to turn fatal when they text and drive. This is because teens are less experienced at driving and can become reckless fast. When we are young, we feel as if we’re invincible, and that’s still true for today’s generation.
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It Takes Time for Your Brain to Register Your Surroundings
When you’re distracted in the car and notice it, you try to bring your attention back to the road, but did you know it takes your brain some time to refocus? It takes your brain around 13 seconds to refocus.
So if you pick up your cell phone to look at a notification and set it back down, it will take your brain 13 seconds to refocus on the road you’re navigating. This statistic surprises some people because they think your brain instantly registers and focuses on the task you want it to.
As your brain is taking time to refocus on the road, your driving skills aren’t up to speed. This is because your body needs to re-adjust and register that it is doing a different action than it was a few seconds ago.
The Majority of Accidents Happen Close to Home
Almost all motor vehicle accidents happen close to your doorstep. 77 percent of accidents happen 15 miles or less from your home address.
When drivers become familiar with their surroundings, they become more relaxed in the car. This means that you automatically know the stops and turns, so you ease into your seat and let your guard down.
Eating Is a Distraction
This is because Eating while driving is more dangerous than texting and driving, as it can be messy and take your attention away from the road. This can lead to minor accidents or even more serious and fatal crashes. To ensure your family is secure, it is important to talk to an insurance expert.
Distracted Drivers Usually Cause Large Truck Accidents
Another fact about distracted driving is that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that most large truck accidents are caused by distracted driving. Seventy-one percent of large truck accidents result from the diver doing something other than paying attention to the road and their surroundings. These crashes are fatal due to what’s being carried in the truck and if the truck collides with cars smaller than itself.
Three Seconds Is All It Takes
The study above by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that three seconds was all it took to be involved in a crash. Eighty percent of crashes involved a distracted driver that lost attention to driving three seconds before the accident happened. This study even notes that driver inattention is also the leading cause of near-crashes.
How Do We Stop Distracted Driving?
The ultimate way to help save lives on the road and bring down car crash rates is to stop distracted driving. This may sound harder than it is. If we all work together to be less distracted on the road, we can save our lives as well as the lives of others.
- Start by trying to avoid multitasking while in the driver’s seat. Keep your attention on driving and the road at all times.
- Put the phone down and leave it down until you reach your destination. This will help to keep your brain from multitasking and have it focused on the road at all times.
- Get organized before leaving your house. Organize the car, get what you need upfront, and put distractions in the back.
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Now You Know the Facts About Distracted Driving
We have given you the rundown of what distracted driving is. We have even touched base on the top statistics of distracted driving, such as multitasking being a myth and eating behind the wheel being a more significant distraction than you might think.
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