Over the last year, there has been a significant decline in cars on the roads. Many would think there would be fewer crashes and fatalities, however that is not the case. Since the start of the pandemic, roads and highways have only become more dangerous. Even with fewer vehicles on the roads and highways, many drivers have become complacent when it comes to safety. Every year 2.5 million car crashes are the cause of distracted driving. Every day in the United States approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that are caused by distracted driving. When traveling 60mph, even the slightest distraction of 3-5 seconds is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Once the driver becomes distracted, it takes only three seconds for a crash to occur.
Texting and driving causes one out of four vehicle crashes. Texting while driving can cause someone to have their eyes off the road for at least five seconds. Teen drivers are more likely to be in a crash related to distractions such as texting. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 and three times more likely to have a fatal car crash. Over 20% of crashes that occur with teenage drivers are caused by cell phone distractions. Women are more likely to be distracted by cell phones than men. To avoid being distracted by your cell phone or any electronic device, it is smart to keep it out of reach while driving or change your phone settings to “Do NOT Disturb.”
While phone use is the main cause of distracted driving, other common distractions are, eating while driving, applying makeup, changing the radio station, and reaching for an object are all other common distractions.
All drivers need to take responsibility when it comes to driving safely on the roads. You can not control other drivers, however you can control your own driving habits. Do your part and commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NSC Just Drive Pledge.