Smartphones have become an evolutionary device that provides users with an abundance of different features. Most smartphone users have the ability to surf the web, text/email, video chat, play games, check social media accounts and so much more. On average, U.S. smartphone users spend 58 minutes daily on their phones.
Now – with that brief introduction on smartphones, it is safe to say that they can be a pretty distracting device, ESPECIALLY when it comes to operating a vehicle. The NHTSA survey found that at any given daylight moment 660,000 drivers are using their cellphones or operating an electronic devices while driving. With that said, research shows that distracted driving has become the leading cause of vehicle accidents. All it takes is one second of diversion for an accident or a near-crash to occur. Whether it results in a fender bender or totaling your vehicle – it can be prevented. It’s quite simple! All you have to do is keep your eyes and mind focused on the task at hand.
The most common distractions are:
- Eating or drinking
- Surfing the web, reading
- Watching a video
- Grooming/applying make-up
- Adjusting controls in the vehicle
- Using a navigation system
- Reaching for something in the car
Ways to reduce and lower crash rates caused by distractions:
- When you have people in the vehicle, be a good role model and make a conscious effort to show that concentration on the road is important. If you need assistance with something, don’t be afraid to ask passengers for help.
- Pull over if you have to concentrate on distracting activities.
- Turn off your cellphone and tuck it away before you start driving
- In 2012 over 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted driving .
- 5 seconds is the minimum amount of time your attention is taken off the road when texting and driving .
- 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when texting.
- For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes 21% of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cellphones.
- Driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
Driving a vehicle is a task that requires full attention and alertness. Practice safe driving to protect yourself, passengers, and those sharing the road. Don’t be a statistic – concentrate on driving!