The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has officially declared April of every year as the month in which national recognition will be paid to the very real problem of distracted driving that has adversely affected hundreds of thousands of people throughout the U.S. for a number of years now. According to its definition, distracted driving is considered to be any activity that could fundamentally divert a person’s attention from where it should be: on the road. The primary task of every driver is to pay proper attention to the road, and when external factors are involved, it is more than easy for the operator of a vehicle to be distracted beyond the point of being able to practice safe driving behaviors. This is especially true given the number of new technologies that have been offered to drivers, many of which are effective in distracting drivers from what should be their primary focus.
There are many activities which could successfully divert a driver’s attention from the road, and it only takes a couple of seconds before a distraction turns into a major accident that could result in catastrophic injuries. Among the most common types of distraction are cell phone use (talking or texting), eating or drinking, talking to passengers, and using navigation systems. Other things that could cause interruption to a driver’s attention to the road are reading maps, adjusting the radio or some other type of media outlet; grooming has even been found to lead to interrupted driving. While any or all of these things may seem minor at the time, it is too easy for a vehicle operator to be distracted by these behaviors, and it even easier for said distractions to result in an injury accident, or a fatality accident in the worst case scenario.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 more than 5,000 drivers and passengers were killed in a car crash that was caused by a distracted driver. Estimates speculate that more than 445,000 victims were injured in an accident of this nature. Included in the statistics released by NHTSA were facts reporting that 20% of all injury crashes in 2009 were the result of distracted driving, and 16% of all fatality crashes were the results of similar bad driving habits. One of the biggest culprits of the problem is believed to be texting while driving – a behavior that is engaged in billions of times per month by drivers throughout the U.S. If you’re looking for more tips, this post have it for you.
Some of the biggest perpetrators of this problem are teen drivers who are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash that reportedly include some type of distraction. Among teen and adult drivers alike, those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision and hand-held device users are 4 times more likely to be involved in an injury crash of some sort. The number of ways in which a person could be harmed is staggering to say the least, especially considering the fact that collisions caused by a distracted driver are ones that could have been avoided altogether. As part of this month’s national awareness of distracted driving, vehicle operators in every state are encouraged to read up on the dangers inherent practices of this nature and take the time to implement safer driving behaviors than the ones they currently employ.