Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Taking under five seconds to send or read a text in this time means that the driver travels the length of a football field without looking at the road, or being distracted.
There are so many vehicles on the road now that this means there is a huge chance of something terrible happening in this distance.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Here are some educational tips to help you avoid distracted driving:
- Make a habit of thinking about what calls or texts you need to send before you begin your trip. Before you start the car, take a moment to think about what information you might need during the trip. For instance, program your GPS at the outset, rather than fiddling with it during the drive.
- Put your phone somewhere you can’t take a quick peek at it. Try putting it in the glove compartment or a closed center console.
- Silence notifications that tempt you to check your phone.
- Practice patience. Consider whether it’s worth risking your safety—and that of others in your car and on the road—to read a text while driving. Then wait until you’ve reached your destination.
- Investigate apps that will help boost your willpower. There are several types of apps on the market, some of them free, that allow you to block incoming messages or send automatic responses to let your friends know you’re driving.
- The idea of a designated driver has caught on for drunk driving, and choosing a substitute can be just as useful for distracted driving. Select a friend to be your designated texter while you’re behind the wheel.
- Make a promise. If you are a person of your word, consider signing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s pledge against distracted driving. Picturing your name on the pledge could help you keep your thumbs off the phone.
- If you absolutely cannot wait, pull over when you can do so safely. Swerving to the side of a busy highway is never a good option, of course. If you are driving on a road with safe places to pull over, use them to stop and text.
10 Informative Statistics about Distracted Driving
Most people realize just how big of a problem and how dangerous distracted driving is. However, seeing this list of 10 distracted driving statistics all together in one list really can put it into perspective.
- 48% of kids in their younger teenage years have been in a car while the driver was texting.
- 82% of American teenagers own a cell phone, and use it regularly to call and text message. 52% of these talk on the phone while driving, and 32% text on the road.
- When you text while driving, the time that you spend with your eyes off the road increases by about 400%.
- It takes an average of three seconds after a driver’s mind is taken off the road for any road accident to occur. This is the bare minimum amount of time it takes, and it is surprisingly small. Three seconds is the time it takes to turn your ignition when starting your car.
- Reading a text message while driving successfully distracts a driver for a minimum of five seconds each time.
- When teens text while they drive, they veer off lane 10% of their total drive time.
- 94% of teenagers understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35% of them admitted that they do it anyway.
- 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
- When polled, 77% of adults and 55% of teenage drivers say that they can easily manage texting while driving.
- Each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries.
If you are dealing with an accident due to a distracted driver, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you.
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