Scott Bohannon, Agent
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Distracted Driving Awareness
Updated: April 1, 2014
Distracted Driving Awareness
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. A recent study by Virginia Tech showed 80 percent of all crashes, and 65 percent of all near-crashes, involved a distracted driving incident within three seconds of the event.
In fact, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Thankfully, alcohol-related crashes among teens have dropped, however, teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged because distracted driving is on the rise. The primary culprit for distracted driving? Cell phone use - whether talking or even worse, texting. Another significant teen distraction is driving with other teens – a risk that increases with every additional passenger.
But distracted driving is not just a teen problem; it’s a problem for people of all ages. According to the NHTSA, cell phone use was reported in 18% of distraction related fatalities in America. Prolonged cell phone activity demands the attention of the driver putting themselves, and those around them, at great risk. Texting, the greatest culprit of distracted driving, takes a driver’s eyes off the roadway for almost 5 seconds! That is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Definitely a bad and dangerous idea.
Listed below are certain activities that are at least as dangerous as when driving while using a cell phone:
- Reaching for a moving object (9 times increase in crash risk)
- Driving drowsy (5 times increase in crash risk)
- Looking at an external object (4 times increase in crash risk)
- Reading (3 times increase in crash risk)
- Dialing a phone (3 times increase in crash risk)
- Applying makeup (3 times increase in crash risk)
When more than 80 percent of drivers admit to having blatantly exhibited hazardous behavior behind the wheel - such as changing clothes, painting their nails, or even shaving – America, it’s time to take some action.
To be a part of the change and help eliminate distracted driving make a pledge today to; hold onto the wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock (a new recommendation), keep your eyes on the road and stay focused on the real task at hand…safe driving.