SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2013
If you see someone texting or reading their phone, move away from them.
Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.1 Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.
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 what you are doing.2
Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.2
How big is the problem?
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 416,000 people injured in 2010.1
- In 2010, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.1
- In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.1
A CDC study analyzed 2011 data on distracted driving, including talking, texting, and reading email behind the wheel. The researchers compared the prevalence of talking on a cell phone or texting while driving in the United States and seven European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Key findings included the following:
Cell phone use 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.
- In Europe, this percentage ranged from 21% in the United Kingdom to 59% in Portugal.
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.
- In Europe, this percentage ranged from 15% in Spain to 31% in Portugal.
What are the risk factors?
- Some activities—such as texting—take the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions.3
- Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.3
What is being done?
- 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.4 However, the effectiveness of cell phone and texting laws on decreasing distracted driving-related crashes requires further study.
- On September 30, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.5
- On October 27, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.6
Resources for More Information
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics.http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html. Accessed February 13, 2013.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, September 2010. Publication no. DOT-HS-811-379. Available from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/index.html. Accessed June 27, 2011.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Policy Statement and Compiled Facts on Distracted Driving. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011. Available from: http://www.nhtsa.gov/. Accessed June 27, 2011.
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 2009 Traffic Safety Culture Index. [Cited 2009 July]. Available from URL: http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/2009TSCIndexFinalReport.pdf . Accessed June 27, 2011.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011. Available from: http://www.distraction.gov/content/dot-action/regulations.html. Accessed September 20, 2012.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices. Washington DC: US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2011. Available from: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/. Accessed June 27, 2011.
Post a Comment
Required (Not Displayed)
All comments are moderated and stripped of HTML.
NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only.
It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional
in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between
you and the blog and website publisher.