In today’s world, cell phones are as common as a wallet or a purse; we take it with us wherever we go. While technology certainly has its advantages, there are situations where we should simply take a break from it, like when we get behind the wheel of a car.
Distracted driving is nothing new. While cell phones are certainly not the only potential distraction behind the wheel, they’re proving to be the most dangerous and prevalent. Whether the driver is making a call, programming their GPS, or sending an “I’ll be there soon” text, many accidents have been caused because cell phones require all three forms of attention: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Every time a driver chooses to engage on their cell phone while behind the wheel, he or she is transferring their manual attention from holding their steering wheel to holding their phone, their visual attention to read the text, and their cognitive attention to understand the text. Because of this drastic transfer of attention, accidents happen.
Awareness is Knowledge
Across the country, there are thousands of movements that aim to promote safe driving, and now is our opportunity to get involved in this informational campaign. At Ingerman & Horwitz, as part of our commitment to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, we have launched the “Just Drive, Maryland” Scholarship Contest. Our goal is to encourage safe and mindful driving. Enter today and be a part of this significant movement.
Statistics: It’s all in the Numbers
In 2012, more than 420,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver. This is a nine percent increase from 2011 when an estimated 387,000 people were injured. (National Occupant Protection Use Survey – NOPUS)
Of the individuals involved in fatal car crashes under the age of 20, 10% of them were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash. This age group makes up the largest percentage of distracted drivers in car accidents. (National Occupant Protection Use Survey – NOPUS)
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (National Occupant Protection Use Survey – NOPUS)
Five seconds – The average amount of time your eyes are off the road while using a cell phone. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute – VTTI)
Nearly a quarter of all teen drivers respond to a text message while behind the wheel. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute – UMTRI)
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute