Distracted Driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from their primary task of driving. Types of distractions besides texting and using a cell phone include: eating and drinking, grooming, reading including maps, adjusting a radio or CD player. But because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention, it is by far the most alarming distraction. Cell phone use may not be the only distraction for drivers, but when you combine the risk with the frequency and prevalence, the reason for putting an end to this deadly behavior becomes clear.
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4-6 seconds. When driving 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field BLIND.
What can we as drivers do immediately to avoid distraction?
- put down the cell phone
- pull over to talk or text
- eat or drink only when the vehicle is stopped
- pre-select your music playlist before starting out
- take care of grooming at home
Small steps will make a big difference. Drivers who used their cell phones and were involved in a crash didn’t start their call with the intention of injuring or killing another person or themselves. Don’t become a statistic! You are driving a 2 ton vehicle. There’s a lot going on around you.
Stay focused. Stay alive.