All it takes is that ONE moment you’re not paying attention to crash your vehicle.
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. According to the NHTSA, in 2018 alone, 2,841 lives were lost, including 1,703 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists.
These crash stats (data gathered from 2012-2018 about texting and driving) help tell the story.
- A reported 1.5 million crashes were shown to be the result of using a cell phone while driving.
- 9% of all nation-wide fatalities from car crashes were caused by texting and driving.
- You’re 6 times as likely to get in an accident because of texting and driving when compared to drinking and driving.
Distracted driving is not a new phenomenon. And it’s not just texting while driving. It’s also: Talking to someone riding with you. Tuning the radio or changing CD tracks. Or worse, watching an accident on the side of the road.
Technology has just expanded the distractions for drivers: talking on the phone, texting, emailing or browsing the internet.
Take control. Don’t let your cell phone - or other distractions - control you.
- The first tip for anyone – teen or adult: Don’t be tempted. Turn off your cell phone when you drive. Or store it where you can’t easily reach it such as the glove box or trunk.
- Think you HAVE to call or text while driving? Pull over to the side of the road and stop before connecting.
- Consider setting up a special voice mail message to tell callers you’re driving and can’t take their call.
- Friends don’t let friends text and drive. Ask your friend to do the text or make the call.
- Be sure you know the law. Some states prohibit the use of cell phones.
- Don’t eat and drive. Over 25% of Americans have fast food every day. Not only are you distracted, but your hands are occupied. No way you can be a defensive driver.
- Keep noise to a minimum. Small children and pets can be a huge noise distraction. Remember to pull over if you need to.
A Few Extra Tips for Parents
- Don't call or text your teen when you know they are likely to be driving.
- Establish family rules that prohibit texting and driving.
- Be a role model. Don't text and drive.
Resources about Distracted Driving
- Distracted Driving. Governors Highway Safety Association.
- Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.
- Preventing Distracted Driving: A Comprehensive Resource
- Distracted Driving, including an infographic and overview
This blog, originally posted December 20, 2012, has been updated with additional sources and information.