Distracted Driving - Cellular Phones
With the advances in technology, drivers now have many more potential distractions than in the past. The single biggest distraction for today’s driver is the cellular phone. Recent studies indicate that cellular phone use is rapidly overtaking alcohol as the second most common cause, after speeding, of traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. In today’s world of always being connected, the temptation to answer that call, or check that text message is ever present. The few seconds it takes to check your phone while driving can make the difference between getting to your destination safely versus possibly not seeing tomorrow.
Did you know?
- The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
- Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
- 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
- Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
- 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
- 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
- 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving. (That’s 4015 per year!)
According to the Canadian Automobile Association, distracted driving is potentially as dangerous as driving drunk and is much more common. If you drive while distracted, you should know these facts:
- You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if you text while driving and 4 times more likely if you talk on a cell-phone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving.
- You may be breaking the law. All provinces in Canada, plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories now have bans in place on using cell-phones or hand-held electronic devices while driving. Depending on the legislation, penalties can include hefty fines and, in many cases, demerit points.
- A distracted driver may fail to see up to 50% of the available information in the driving environment. You may look but not actually “see” what is happening.
- A study showed that nearly 80% of collisions and 65% of near-collisions involved some form of driver inattention up to three seconds prior to the event.
Another factor to consider is that even though you put your phone away while behind the wheel, others driving around you may not. The result is an exponential increase in the importance of focusing your full attention on the road!
The statistics are alarming, but the solution is simple: No phone call, email, or text message is worth the risk! Put your phone away until you safely reach your destination.