Distracted Driving 411
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any action that takes a driver’s attention away from driving. This includes talking on your phone, texting, eating, chatting with passengers in your car and/or adjusting your radio. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that “…any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.”
Types of Distractions
EndDD.org categorizes distractions into three main types: manual, visual and cognitive. Texting involves all three types.
- Manual distractions are those where you move your hands off the wheel.
- Visual distractions are those where you take your eyes off the road.
- A cognitive distraction is when you’re mind is not focused on driving.
Cell Phone Use
- Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s the same as driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
- Motorists are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated.
- Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers.
- Text messaging increases the risk of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.
- In 2018, 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Among those killed:
- 1,730 drivers
- 605 passengers
- 400 pedestrians
- 77 bicyclists