Nowadays it is quite common to be sitting at a stoplight in your vehicle, look to the car next to you and they are doing something other than looking at the light. This is known as distracted driving and is commonly seen when in use of an electronic device but is not limited to that alone. Many times it seems like a harmless act to go through the nearest McDonalds grabbing some food and eating it while in route during our busy, hectic lives. But how focused on the road are you when your McFlurry is quickly melting down your arm in the heat of daylight? Assumption: you’re more worried about getting that Oreo sticky goodness on your clothing than worrying about if the car in front of you is going to slam on their breaks because maybe they just dropped the pickle from their Big Mac onto the floorboard.
Most people have had lunch while driving, but how about adding your phone as a distraction on top of that? Whether it’s texting, a phone call, or even scrolling through Facebook at the light- all of it takes your attention away from what you’re doing.
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded (VTTI, 2009).
What is the worst thing you have seen or done while driving distracted?
- Changing the radio
- Changing clothes
- Applying makeup
- Fixing hair
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Here are some facts:
- Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes (NHTSA 2015).
- The percentage of driver’s text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014.(NHTSA, 2015).
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010 (NOPUS, 2013).
- A 2015 Erie Insurance distracted driving survey reported that drivers do all sorts of dangerous things behind the wheel including brushing teeth and changing clothes. The survey also found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters saying they’ve seen others do it (ERIE INSURANCE, 2015).
So before you get behind the wheel, think really hard about your decisions because it could end up affecting not only yourself today, but someone else their entire life. As always, if you’ve been affected by a distracted driver, need legal help, or have any questions Know What To Do, Call Tad Morlan today.