Let’s face it: cell phones are a staple in our lives. The average person rarely leaves home without their cell in hand. Unfortunately, with the rise of cell phones and other technology, America continues to see a dangerous upward trend of car crashes caused by distracted driving.
Generally speaking, a driving distraction is anything that causes you to take your attention away from driving (cognitive), take your eyes off of the road (visual), or take your hands off of the wheel (manual).
There are numerous distractions that can cause accidents, including use of a cell phone in any way, use of a GPS or navigation system, adjusting music, eating, applying make-up or talking with friends while driving. However, texting while driving is the most alarming and dangerous distraction, because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver.
One text or call could wreck it all.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate everyone about the danger it poses. At Metzger Wickersham, we’ve pledged our support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road. We want to put an end to texting and cell phone use behind the wheel, and we hope you’ll join us. Help us spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving by entering our Road to Safety Scholarship Contest.
STATS AND FACTS
- Distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016.
- Hundreds of thousands of people are injured in distracted driving crashes annually.
- The highest incidence of distracted driving occurs in the under-20 age group.
- 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for approximately 5 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field at 55mph, blind.
Sources: Distraction.gov / VTTI
Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving
Just Drive PA
National Safety Council
Governors Highway Safety Association
Distracted Driving Laws – State by State
Texting and Driving Prevention
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Teen driving guide
What to do after a car accident