Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from the road and puts someone at risk of unsafe driving. This can include talking or texting on the phone, applying makeup, eating, or using the stereo or navigation system. Driving safely requires a driver’s full, undivided attention. Any non-driving activity someone engages in is a potential distraction and increases the risk of crashing. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Although smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected, they can also be the cause of serious or fatal consequences. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers use their cell phones while behind the wheel. Every time someone takes their attention off the road, they put both themselves and other drivers at risk of death or injury.

Fast Facts

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Texting while driving is banned for all drivers in 46 states.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds while texting. That’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field.
When driving 55 mph, reading a text takes your eyes off the road long enough to drive the length of a football field.

MINDFUL DRIVING

With the widespread use of mobile and other digital devices among today’s youth, it is your duty to use them in a safe and positive way. You have the power to be an advocate of digital responsibility by helping to prevent accidents from distracted driving. It is equally important to be safe while you’re behind the wheel and intervening when you see someone practicing any unsafe activity while they’re driving. By stepping in and speaking up, you can stop someone from endangering themselves and other people. Being aware and making mindful driving a habit will make roads safer for everyone.