Distracted driving is a serious and growing problem, quickly becoming a habit for some – a habit that is deadlier than drunk driving.
Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind of your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. Here are a few sobering statistics:
- Drivers who use a hand-held device are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury.
- Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, which is the legal limit for drunk driving.
- Research indicates that the burden of talking on a cell phone – even if it’s hands-free – saps your brain of 39 percent of the energy it takes to devote to safe driving.
- Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash. Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual and cognitive distraction at the same time. Sending or reading text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field, blindfolded. It’s incredibly dangerous!
- Remember, in Minnesota, it is a primary offense for all drivers to text and drive. Any use of a cell phone while driving is also a primary offense for bus drivers and novice drivers (anyone under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or provisional license.