· Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing
Distracted driving is any nondriving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task and increase the crashing risk. While all distractions can endanger driver safety, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types.
Other distracting activities include:
· Using a cellphone
· Eating and drinking
· Talking to passengers
· Reading, including maps
· Using a PDA or navigation system
· Watching a video
· Changing the radio station, CD or MP3 player
Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
· Every year, nearly 20 percent of all crashes involve some type of distraction.
· In 2019, a total of 3,142 people were killed in vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
· 10% of all drivers under age 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
· At any given daylight moment across America, about 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
· Sending or receiving a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent (at 55 mph) of driving the length of an entire football field blind.
· Headset-cellphone use is not substantially safer than handheld use.
· Driving while using a cellphone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
Everyone must all do their best to eliminate sources of driver distraction. Learn more about distracted driving by visiting the Department of Transportation website: www.distraction.gov/.