"Distracted driving" is a growing and disturbing trend. It's defined as engaging in any activity that takes your attention away, for any period of time, from the task of driving. It isn't just texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving, but those are the primary forms. It's dangerous, as shown by the following facts:
- In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in a distraction-affected crash. 421,000 people were injured. This is about 9 deaths per day, and over 1000 injuries per day.
- reaching for your phone, dialing, or texting increases your chances of crashing by 3 times.
- Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field. Blind.
Over the past few years, we've seen the rise of accidents caused by distracted driving. The consequences are devastating. We encourage everyone to make the effort: don't text and drive, email and drive, or use a cell phone while driving. Awareness of distracted driving is growing nationwide, and we also encourage you to check out NHTSA's website, an informative site that includes a downloadable pledge not to drive while distracted. This is a great idea for teens.