What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, changing station on the radio, or fiddling with the navigation system - anything that takes your attention away from the take of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed!
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activities you engage in, is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
In 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.
During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes
Distracted Driving Facts.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from the primary task of driving.
- 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015 (data not yet available for 2017) NHTSA
- 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected. NHTSA.
- Distracted driving crashes are under-reported and the NSC estimates that cell phone use alone accounted for 27% of 2015 car crashes. NSC
- In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. NHTSA
- The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over (IIHS)
- Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Three types of distractions:
Traffic safety experts classify distractions into three main types: Manual, Visual and Cognitive.
- Manual distractions are those where you move your hands from the wheel.
- Visual distractions are those where you focus your eyes away from the road.
- A cognitive distraction is when you’re mind wanders away from the task of driving.
Texting involves all three types of distraction.
Cell Phone Use:
- People are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%. University of Utah
- Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. University of Utah
- Text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times. Virginia Technical Transportation Institute, USDOT
- Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph NHTSA
Drivers are not taking this seriously enough:
- Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it “unacceptable” that drivers text or send email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or e-mail while driving in the previous month. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,450 lives in 2016 alone. NHTSA leads the national effort to save lives by preventing this dangerous behavior.
Get the facts. Get involved. And help us keep America’s roads safe.