Every April, the National Safety Council has promoted Distracted Awareness Month and its’ message is to encourage the public to start driving without the use of a cell phone. This year’s theme “What were you thinking?” focuses on educating the public on the distraction to the brain from a cell phone conversation while driving, whether it is a handheld or hands-free device.
It is estimated that one in four crashes are caused by distracted driving of cell phone use and for new teen drivers, it’s the most common and dangerous distraction for them while behind the wheel. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of teens self-reported texting or emailing while driving and the statistics of fatal crashes for this same age group shows that 19 percent were in fact distracted by the use of cell phones.
Text messaging is especially dangerous while driving and creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Texting takes a driver’s attention away from the road for approximately 4.6 seconds and at 55MPH that is like driving an entire length of a football field blindfolded. Watch the following YouTube video that shows just how easy it is to be distracted by a text message. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnw_7xI5klM&feature=youtu.be
Since Distracting Driving has been such a rising concern, state laws have been put in place to strongly discourage the use of cell phones while driving. As of March 2013, 10 states have instituted a hand-held cell phone ban for all drivers, with all but two making it a primary offense. No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 34 states ban all cell phone use by novice drivers. Texting while driving is banned in 39 states with all but four making it a primary offense. An additional six states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers. To view the cell phone use laws for your state, visit this link.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate everyone about the danger it poses. On this page, you can find facts and statistics that are powerfully persuasive. Please take a moment to learn more about Distracted Driving and its’ risks and share the information with your family and friends. Together, we can help save lives.
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