Learn the Facts About Distracted Driving

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from the primary task of driving.

Highway Fatalities:

  • 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015 (data not yet available for 2017) NHTSA

Distracted Driving:

  • 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected. NHTSA.
  • Distracted driving crashes are under-reported and the NSC estimates that cell phone use alone accounted for 27%  of 2015 car crashes. NSC
  • In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. NHTSA
  • The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over (IIHS)
  • Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes.  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Three types of distractions:

Traffic safety experts classify distractions into three main types: Manual, Visual and Cognitive.

  • Manual distractions are those where you move your hands from the wheel.
  • Visual distractions are those where you focus your eyes away from the road.
  • A cognitive distraction is when you’re mind wanders away from the task of driving.

Texting involves all three types of distraction.

Cell Phone Use:

  • People are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%.   University of Utah
  • Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. University of Utah
  • Text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times.  Virginia Technical Transportation Institute, USDOT
  • Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph NHTSA

Drivers are not taking this seriously enough:

  •  Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it “unacceptable” that drivers text or send an email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or e-mail while driving in the previous month. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times as likely to also drive distracted. 

Visit our Research and Statistics page to learn more. 

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