Smartphones have paved the way to endless communication with our loved ones. Used responsibly, they are an indispensable tool for every day life. However, these little devices have contributed greatly to a growing hazard on the road that claims more and more lives every year: distracted driving.
Distracted driving is the act of driving while having one’s attention fixed on something else. Most commonly associated with texting and driving, distracted driving is blanket term that covers a wide variety of distractions, such as eating, talking on the phone, speaking or arguing with others in the vehicle, using social media, and more.
Distracted driving has quickly become a leading cause of traffic accidents, severe injuries, and even death. According to statistics form the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 2.5 million people in the United States are involved in an accident each year. Of these, over 421,000 accidents involve a distracted driver. It is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation.
Distracted driving poses a major risk on the road because studies show that being distracted is not unlike driving under the influence – in some cases, these distractions have proven to be more dangerous. Texting and driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. These distractions kill 11 teens every day. While distracted driving is largely centered around younger drivers, older drivers contribute to distracted driving as well. Over 31% of U.S. drivers age 18-64 reported that they have sent or received email messages or text messages while driving. This trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Driving while distracted is irresponsible and can cause devastating injuries, and can even lead to fatalities.