Distracted Driving: Two Words That Should Never Be Seen Together
Do you sometimes wonder at drivers focused on everything but the road? She’s texting! He’s reading a map on his tablet! She’s turned around, yelling at a child in the back seat!
Welcome to the world of distracted drivers. The statistics are frightening:
- Every day, 4,300 crashes result from distracted driving
- Drivers talking on cell phones cause 1.6 million crashes per year
- Collision risk is 2,200 percent higher while a driver is texting
- Nearly half of teenagers surveyed admit to being in a car while the driver was texting
Increasingly, state and local governments have reacted to the problem of distracted drivers by banning hand-held cell phones and regulating driver texting.
Even the most well-intentioned driver may find a ringing cell phone impossible to resist, so the safest solution is to turn off your devices while driving. If you must leave them on, follow these common-sense safety tips from the Insurance Information Institute:
- Let all calls and messages go to voicemail
- If you need to make a call or text, first find a safe place to pull off the road
- Never dial when driving. If you must make a call, have a passenger dial the number or use speed dial
- Keep phone calls brief and delay stressful conversations until a time when you’re not driving
- Never take notes while behind the wheel
And remember that any distraction can be the one that causes a major accident. Long before cell phones and texting were invented, the distractions of eating, drinking, applying makeup and selecting music all contributed to their share of accidents.
Be safe. Stay focused. Don’t drive distracted.