can be visual, manual or cognitive. Basically, distracted driving is any activity a person engages in while driving a vehicle that has the potential to distract that person from the task of driving. Any distraction increases the risk of an accident and any accident endangers the driver’s and any passengers in the vehicle’s safety. In 2009, a reported 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways and an estimated 448,000 were injured in crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving (according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.) These numbers are significant, but may not tell the true story, as far as statistics, because it’s difficult to determine the role of distracted driving in many accidents. The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) is a national survey specifically focused toward documenting events and conditions leading up to crashes. They report that driver distraction was coded as the critical reason in 18 percent of crashes. It‘s essential that you focus on the task at hand when driving a motor vehicle. This can‘t be emphasized enough.
Distracted driving activities include:
Talking on a cell phone
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, (this includes maps)
Using a PDA or navigation system
Watching a video
Changing the radio station, CD, etc.
In recent years, texting has become one of the biggest distracted driving activities. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.