Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of being distracted behind the wheel.
Maybe you’ve just looked down at your phone as you’ve received an incoming text or phone call? Perhaps you’re following the GPS, changing the song on your play list or unwrapping a snack on the go? It may seem like no big deal, but it could really cost you.
According to the National Survey of Young Drivers, reading or sending a text takes about five seconds. At 55 mph that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed!!! As a result you are 23x more likely to crash than if you were not distracted.
Drivers face 3 types of distraction; Manual, Visual and Cognitive. Whether you take your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or if your mind wanders, all are concerning and impair your attention. Texting while driving is particularly concerning as it requires your manual, visual and cognitive attention.
Here are some surprising statistics to keep in mind;
- Almost 40% of driver’s ages 18-29 say they talk on the phone regularly or fairly often while driving.
- More than 25% of people in that age group say they text or email regularly, often while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association shows that using a cell phone while driving makes you 4x as likely to get into an accident in which you will sustain injury.
- Surfing the web is another form of distracted driving and approximately 19% of drivers-including teens-engage in this behavior.
- Use of cell phones while driving caused an estimated 1.5M car crashes in the U.S. in 2018.
- 14% of those crashes were fatal.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
- Insurance penalties for distracted driving have grown by nearly 8,000%
Avoid increased premiums, risk of injury to yourself and others and make an effort to not be distracted by your phone. Here are helpful tips; Put your phone out of reach so you’re not tempted to look at it. Use an app to block incoming call and or texts. If using GPS, mount on the dashboard where it can be seen or use Bluetooth if equipped for hands free phone operation.
Make a commitment to yourself and your family, it’s worth it. Get involved by keeping our roads safe.