Health Plus
April 16, 2014

According to the federal Department of Transportation, 3,129 Americans were killed in 2014 due to distracted driving. That is 3,129 deaths that may have been avoided if those individuals were paying close attention to what they were doing. Distracted driving is driving while doing any of these things such as texting, using a cellphone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, adjusting the radio, or using a navigation system. Basically, this definition is saying that if you are doing anything other than paying attention to the road and the way you are driving, you are driving distracted and putting yourself and others in danger. The most dangerous of the group has been proven to be the use of a handheld device.

According to the federal Department of Transportation, 3,450 Americans were killed in 2016 year due to distracted driving. That is 3,450​ deaths that may have been avoided if those individuals were paying close attention to what they were doing. Distracted driving is driving while doing anything that diverts attention away from driving, such as texting, using a cellphone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, adjusting the radio, or using a navigation system. Basically, this definition is saying that if you are doing anything other than paying attention to the road and the way you are driving, you are driving distracted and putting yourself and others in danger. The most dangerous of the group has been proven to be the use of a handheld device.

Here are some of the facts to consider about using a handheld device while driving:

  1. Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)
  2. Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
  3. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving 55 mph the length of a football field blindfolded. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
  4. Using a cell phone while driving, whether hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08. (University of Utah)
  5. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)

The following are some actions you can take:

  1. Talk to family members about the danger of driving distracted to make sure everyone is aware of the danger.
  2. Set a good example for your family by putting away your phone and other devices while driving.
  3. Download and take the pledge to drive phone free

Additional Information:

Distraction.gov
CDC Distracted Driving
MCJCHV Distracted Driving Facts & Stats