Driving is an inherently dangerous activity. Think about it! When you are behind the wheel of a car on the highway, you are in a giant metal box traveling at high speeds. It takes only a second for something to go wrong. For this reason, driving required our absolute, undivided attention. Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly major problem here in the Unites States. In 2013 alone, 3,154 individuals were killed in collisions involving distracted drivers. Although this was a decrease of 6.7 percent from the year before, statisticians believe that this rate will trend up over the next few years. Let’s look closer at distracted driving.
First, we shall familiarize ourselves with many of the common sources of distraction. They include: texting, grooming, engaging in conversation with passengers, eating, drinking, using smartphone apps, watching videos, manipulating radio controls, and navigating using maps.
Many of these distractions draw the attention of the driver away from the road for much longer than just a second. This increases the danger dramatically. Every second a driver’s eyes are not glued to the road in front of them or engaging in checking their mirrors, could lead to an accident.
So, the question arises, who is most prone to distraction? According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, drivers in their 20’s cause over 27 percent of fatal crashes involving a distracted driver. On average, checking a text message takes 5 seconds. A car traveling at just 55 mpg will cover the length of a football field in that amount of time. The danger is compounded even further when every other vehicle on the road is factored in.
To stay safe on the road, avoid distractions at all costs. No text message is worth a human life.