Prevention

It Can Wait

Driving safely can be a challenge even when a driver is paying attention to the road and to other potential hazards. Add even one distraction to the mix and the chances of crashing rise dramatically.

Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road is a distraction. No amount of text messaging, status updating, eating, reading, music changing, or makeup applying is worth your life: It can wait. You might let your eyes wander for only a moment, but that’s all it takes to cause a tragic crash.

Risk increases by 50%, 250%, and 300% for one, two, and then three passengers in the car
For young drivers, the risk of a crash increases significantly with each additional passenger in the vehicle
10% of fatal crashes
In 2011, 10 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. involved some form of distracted driving
16% of crashes are caused by young, inexperienced drivers
Young, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old represent 16 percent of distracted driving crashes
1 in 4 crashes caused by distracted driving
One in four car crashes involved distracting driving of some sort

Distraction as a factor in vehicle crashes is difficult to determine. Therefore distraction-related crash statistics are believed to be significantly underestimated.

It’s a Law Not a Suggestion

  • Distracted drivers, including texting drivers, can be cited for careless driving with fines starting at $100.50 and may have their license suspended. In addition, drivers may be cited for all other infractions incurred due to distracted driving, including vehicular homicide if a death occurs.
  • It is illegal for a minor to text or use an electronic communication/entertainment device while driving.
  • It is illegal for an adult to text while driving. 
  • It’s still considered texting while driving while stopped at a red light.
  • Commercial motor vehicle operators may be fined up to $2,750 if using communication/entertainment devices while driving.
  • For teen drivers, the ban on all electronic communication and entertainment devices while driving, handheld or hands-free, is a primary law, meaning a law enforcement officer may stop a vehicle solely on this violation.
  • A teen who is convicted of texting or using a communication/entertainment device while driving will incur a 30-day driver’s license suspension and the clock will restart on the crash-free and moving traffic violation-free period necessary to go to the next graduated driver’s license level.

Distractions Come in Many Forms

It doesn’t take much to distract a driver. Even the simplest of tasks, both legal and illegal, can lead to loss of control of a vehicle. 

Image of a Cell Phone
Using a cell phone or texting
Image of a book
Reading
Image of a knife and fork
Eating or drinking
Image of a navigation system
Using a navigation system
Image of a video
Watching a video
Image of two conversation bubbles
Talking to passengers
Image of putting on makeup
Grooming
Image of a music note
Adjusting music players

Technology and Cars Don’t Mix

Technology today provides us with quick, portable access to information. It helps us work more efficiently, but can also create additional distractions that may take our focus off the road. The most alarming of these distractions is talking or texting while driving. These actions require a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive attention from a driver. Because of this, the likelihood of a crash increases drastically when you drive while using a hand-held phone. Don’t risk it! Focus on the road.

 

Image of a venn diagram explaing various distrtactions
 
Image of a distraction causing 4x more damage
Drivers are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves while driving distracted
 
Image of texting causing 3x more risk
Texting creates a crash risk three times more likely than driving while not distracted
Image of a brain being reduced 37%
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent
Imge of 4.6 seconds, or the lenght of a football field which passes while taking ones eyes off the road
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds