Eighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. But that is just not the case. More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer because the brain remains distracted by the conversation. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what’s around them, such as traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention from the primary task of driving. All forms of distracted driving endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. 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. Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roadways
3,154 people were killed in 2013 and an estimated 424,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes that involved distracted drivers. Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 10% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under the age of 20. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
We’d like to take a moment to remind you to keep your eyes and your mind on the road in front of you while you’re driving – it could save someone’s life! One of the best ways to stay safe while driving is to stay distraction-free. If you think about those things that distract you while driving you can more easily avoid them.
Visual distractions are things that you see that can take your eyes off of the road. That little bobble head happily bouncing back and forth on your dashboard or those fuzzy dice on your review mirror are examples of visual distractions.
Physical distracted driving is also sometimes known as manual distracted driving. Physical distractions are anything that you are physically doing with your hands or body when you should be focused on driving. Physical distracted driving could be the result of trying to put on makeup in the car, adjusting the radio, or grabbing a quick bite to eat while traveling from one place to another.
Unfortunately, drivers don’t have to be distracted very long to get into trouble. One study found that almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved drivers who were not paying attention to traffic for three seconds or less before the event.
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