Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Unfortunately, it has become one of the main causes ofcar accidents in the United States. Based on a 2014 report by Distraction.gov, approximately 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers. 53% of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted driving incident.
The following are the common causes of distracted driving crashes:
- Texting and driving – One out of four motor vehicle accidents is caused by texting-while-driving. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting, which could cover the distance of a football field when traveling 55 mph.
- Talking on the cellphone – Driving while talking on the phone impairs driver reaction in a similar manner to intoxicated driving. According to the National Safety Council, cellphone usage while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes every year.
- Talking to passengers – Having an engaging conversation with another person in your vehicle might be enough to take your attention away from driving and cause an accident.
- Grooming – Whether you are brushing your teeth or applying your make up, grooming while driving could be extremely dangerous since your hands are performing other tasks than steering. You may not have enough time to react properly to potential road hazards.
- Eating or drinking – 2% of distracted drivers were either drinking or eating before being involved in a fatal car accident.
- Using a navigation system or GPS – While it is important to know the directions toward your destination, consistently checking your GPS can force you to take your eyes away from the road.
- Spacing out – Letting your mind wander is one of the major contributing factors to distracted driving accidents.
The best way to stop distracted driving once and for all is to educate all Americans about its dangers. Furthermore, drivers must maintain discipline by fighting the urge to check their phones while driving and worry about the lives of others around them while behind the wheel.