Once barely acknowledged as a risk, distracted driving is currently one of the leading causes of serious collisions in the United States. Countless people every day decide to do something other than just drive, even knowing how much risk comes from speeding around in a motor vehicle. When a driver takes their mental focus, eyes or hands away from the task of driving, danger increases.
Along with drunk driving and speeding, distracted driving is a preventable, unnecessary risk that claims lives and leaves people with debilitating injuries. Every day across the country, roughly nine people die in distracted driving crashes while another thousand people wind up injured.
Mobile phones are a major source of distraction risk
The internet and mobile computing have made it easier than ever for people to stay connected at all times. Technology can make it easier for you to talk to your grandmother or communicate with your boss if you’re stuck in traffic and about to be late for work.
Unfortunately, when those notifications start pinging, phones can also be a big source of distraction at the wheel. From the mental and visual distraction involved in looking over at your phone to the manual distraction involved in taking your hands off the wheel to respond to a message, the risk involved in texting while driving is quite substantial.
Just because someone isn’t texting doesn’t mean they aren’t distracted
Distracted driving crashes occurred long before mobile phones became commonplace across the country. That’s because phones are not the only thing that can distract you. Conversations with other people, singing along with the radio, eating, grooming and even daydreaming can all drastically increase the potential risk for a crash.