Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.
All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
Using a cell phone or smartphone
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, including maps
Using a navigation system
Watching a video
Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. (NHTSA)
Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted.
40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.
16% of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)
20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)
Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
Using a cell phone while driving – whether it’s hand-held or hands-free delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)