Distracted driving is a major problem on Virginia roads and across the United States. Although many people may think teen drivers are to blame, older drivers can also be guilty of distracted driving.
Distracted driving includes anything that a driver does that takes their focus away from driving. In other words, anything that can divert a driver's attention from the road. In the past this has included eating, putting on makeup, talking to kids in the back seat and other activities. But since the proliferation of the cell phone, and in particular the smart phone, distracted driving has taken on a whole new meaning.
Texting and driving, an activity that takes a drivers eyes, hands and mental capacity away from driving, is a major contributor to car accidents. Ten percent of fatal accidents that involve teenagers are the result of distracted driving. And for people in their 20s, 27% of fatal accidents involve distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 over 421,000 people were injured in a car crash that involved distracted driving. States like Virginia have bans on texting while driving, but not all drivers follow the law.
Drivers are still using their cell phones and texting while driving despite knowing how dangerous it can be. Many drivers believe that an accident won't happen to them and that they are perfectly capable of safely sending a text message while driving. Unfortunately distracted driving accidents can happen to anyone who engages in a distracted driving activity. Next week, this blog will discuss tips to avoiding driving while distracted.
Source: DISTRACTION.gov, "What is distracted driving?", Accessed on Oct. 27, 2014