The best way to end distracted driving is to educate everyone about the danger it poses. We’ve gathered powerfully persuasive facts and statistics to help you learn more about the safety problem that is distracted driving. Help us tackle this issue by getting involved. Share these resources with your friends and remind them, if you’re distracted, you’re not driving. Together, we can help save lives.
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. Each day in the United States, over eight people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Here are additional harrowing facts and statistics about distracted driving:
- Distracted driving causes 20% of all vehicle accidents.
- One of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by distracted driving.
- 6 million accidents per year occur due to distracted driving.
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual–taking your eyes off the road,
- Manual–taking your hands off the wheel, and
- Cognitive–taking your mind off of driving.
These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player
While any of these can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distractions.
Many states are enacting laws—such as banning texting while driving, or using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers—to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring.
- On September 30, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.
- On September 17, 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration banned cell phone and electronic device use of employees on the job.
- On October 27, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.
- In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials.
A CDC study analyzed 2011 data on distracted driving, including talking on a cell phone or reading or sending texts or emails behind the wheel.
Key findings included the following:
Talking on a cell phone while driving
- 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
Texting or emailing while driving
- 31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
Stopping for a School Bus
For all roadways without a median, when a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop. On a divided highway with a median separation or a roadway with a center turning lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.
Four Way Stops
Most drivers understand the basics of a four-way stop and know that whoever reaches the stop sign first gets to proceed first. As a general rule, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right.
Yielding in a Roundabout
If you’re not used to driving through roundabouts, they can catch you off guard. Keep in mind that if you’re getting ready to enter a roundabout, you must yield to vehicles that are already in the roundabout.
Merging onto an Interstate
Merging vehicles should accelerate and adjust their speed to safely enter into the flow of traffic. Meanwhile, vehicles that are already driving on the interstate should maintain the legal speed limit and move over a lane if possible in order to allow for merging traffic.