The dangers of driving distracted are well documented. Yet, millions of Americans continue to risk their lives and other people’s every single day. 80% of all collisions on US roads are caused by distracted driving. This figure means that more than 4 million crashes could be avoided if drivers pay full attention while driving.
One of the most common distractions is using cell phones while driving, especially texting. This not only poses a risk for the person behind the wheel, but is also hazardous for other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Multiply that by the millions of people who use their cell phones while driving and those of us who come into contact with these drivers, and the risk is worryingly high. Texting while driving isn’t the only driving distraction, but it does cause nearly 60% of all collisions and 18% of all fatalities.
End Distracted Driving was founded in 2009 after 21 year-old Casey Feldman was killed by a distracted driver while crossing at a crosswalk during the day. EndDD’s mission is to save lives and stop these needless crashes from happening.
Using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of 5 beers
Texting while driving is equal to a person with a blood alcohol content of 0.16%. This is the equivalent of 5 beers for the average 185 pound male. In addition, the reaction time of someone using a cell phone while driving is equal to a person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%. To put this figure in perspective, a person is considered legally impaired when their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or more.
Just talking on a cell phone means that a driver is four times more likely to have a crash or a near-crash event. Texting is worse. A driver is 23 times more likely to have a crash or near-crash event while texting and driving.
It is clear, therefore, that texting while driving endangers not only the person behind the wheel. It also puts in danger any passengers and everyone the driver may hit while they are not focusing on the road.
Opening a text while driving is the equivalent of closing your eyes for 5 seconds
Assume that a car is traveling at an average highway speed of 55mph. In the five seconds it takes to open a text on a cell phone, the car will have traveled 360 feet which is the length of a football field. Just think: we wouldn’t choose to close our eyes while driving for longer than it takes to blink, so why would we choose to text, which is essentially closing our eyes for five seconds.
The dangers of driving distracted is widespread
It’s not only texting that can lead to deaths on our roads. 82% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes can also be attributed to the following: applying makeup; reaching to grab a drink or eating; choosing a music station; and looking at GPS or reading a map. The list of distractions goes on and on. Here is a helpful article about how to avoid distracted driving after long travel.
Choose to not drive distracted
Driving distracted is a danger that every driver can prevent. It is the driver’s responsibility before putting their car in drive to ensure that they are prepared for the journey. This means selecting a radio station, podcast, or streaming service before driving off. Cell phones can also be put into do not disturb mode. Keeping our eyes on the road keeps us all safer.
Other distractions can also be a danger
It’s important to realize that using a cell phone while driving is not the only distraction. In fact, texting while driving only makes up for one-third of the types of distractions to drivers. Other types of distraction include cognitive factors, such as driving while angry, depressed, or tired. Driving while tired also leads to the third type of distraction, which is visual. Not only can visual distractions be caused by texting, but also through mental distractions which can be caused by sleep deprivation or intense thinking.
Whatever the reason for distraction, there is no excuse for putting yourself or others in danger.
Further information about distracted driving can be found at EndDD.org, or visit their page on any major social networking website.