Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or your hands off the steering wheel - especially texting and cell phone use, whether hands-free or handheld. Who’s doing it? Most of us. It has been estimated that, at any one time, over 10 percent of drivers are using a mobile device.
[Related article: Bay Area Law Enforcement Cracking Down on 'Distracted…]
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways.
- 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.
- Up to 6000 people nationwide are killed in crashes where driver distractions are involved.
- Talking on a cell phone or texting is the number one source of driver distractions.
- Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, far enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Most crashes happen with less than 3 seconds reaction time.
- The act of talking on a cell phone, even hands free, can give you “inattention blindness,” where your brain isn’t seeing what’s right in front of you. You aren’t even aware that you are driving impaired. If you think you can handle both driving and talking on a cell phone or texting, you are kidding yourself and putting us all at risk.
What can you do? Most important, obey the law. It’s there for a reason.