Distracted Driving–Not Just Texting
Distracted driving is among the biggest causes of fatal crashes in the United States today. While texting and driving is one of the most dangerous causes of driver distraction, it’s definitely not the only distraction causing accidents.
Anyone at any age can be distracted while driving, but it was reported that 10% of drivers under the age of 20 were involved in fatal crashes due to being distracted while behind the wheel. Out of all the age groups, this group has the largest population of distracted drivers.
As a driver, you’ve probably been distracted at one time or another by something that took your focus off the road, even if only momentarily. However, it only takes a split second of not watching the road to cause a serious accident.
Some common ways drivers are distracted:
- Talking on the phone—hands-free included
- Brushing your hair or putting on makeup
- Adjusting the radio or iPod
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Using GPS while the vehicle is in motion
Most of these distractions can be prevented. If you keep your phone on silent or vibrate, in a bag or compartment of the car, you’ll be more likely to resist the urge to use it while operating a vehicle.
In the state of South Carolina, texting is illegal while driving in many cities. Why? Because texting takes visual and cognitive attention away from the road. This means our minds, as well as our eyes, are completely taken away from driving for 5 seconds or more at a time. Your chances of getting into a wreck increase by three times if you are texting or using a cell phone while driving.
Three simple rules to cut down on distractions:
- Make a commitment to not use cell phones while driving
- Vow to keep your eyes on the road at all times and keep conversations to a minimum
- Avoid using GPS or any electronic device in the car