AAA now states that “distracted driving accounts for 25 to 50 percent of all accidents”.
According to www.distraction.gov, more than 70% of licensed drivers in the USA admit that they read and text while driving. Texting is not the only distraction while driving. Some people put on makeup, turn to face their passengers instead of the road, look at their radios while operating them, eat, smoke and many other simple distractions.
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2014 alone, 3,179 were killed in distracted driving crashes.
Distracted driving is anything that can momentarily take our attention away from driving our vehicle. Because texting requires mental, visual and muscle attention, it is an extremely alarming distraction. The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014. Since 2007, young drivers (age 16 to 24) have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than adult drivers.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a variety of creative campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving working with numerous partners, including AT&T’s poignant campaign against texting and driving. Many states have laws banning texting while driving, so not only is it dangerous but it may be illegal.
Sites like www.itcanwait.com provides ideas on how to disengage from the texting distraction while driving. If you send “#X” before you start your engine, your friends will be alerted that you are driving and that the next text can wait. An idea is to draw an X on your thumb to remind you to “#X” before you put your vehicle in Drive.
With so many distracted drivers on the road currently (statistically nearly 50% of people on the road at any moment) we all need to pay attention for not only our own safety but also for the people we love.