April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is a time to spread knowledge and awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving refers to any type of stimulus that takes your eyes off the road. Any action that prevents a driver from focusing fully on the road is extremely dangerous, and these distractions lead to thousands of deaths a year. Unfortunately due to the increase of smartphones and their capabilities, distracted driving is not slowing down.
Examples of Distractions
Distractions come in the form of three categories: Visual (taking your eyes off the road), Cognitive (your mind wandering and not focusing on the road), and Manual (taking your hands off the wheel). Some of the common driving distractions are as follows:
- Sending or receiving texts
- Making phone calls
- Using the radio
- Sending emails
- Tending to children or pets
- Online shopping
- Browsing social media
- Applying makeup
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), car accidents are unfortunately increasing.
- The total number of motor-vehicle fatalities in 2021 was up 9% from 2020, and up 18% from 2019.
- On an average day, 8 people are killed in distracted driving collisions.
- According to the 2020 Traveler’s Risk Index, 19% of drivers reported taking photos or videos while driving, while only 10% reported the same in 2019.
- Drivers aged 20-29 made up the largest percentage of distracted drivers in fatal crashes, according to NHTSA data from 2018.
A more detailed list of distracted driving data can be found from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Distracted Driving Resources
Governors Highway Safety Association – Distracted Driving Laws by State
- See what laws your state has against distracted driving.
National Safety Council – Just Drive Pledge
- Make a commitment to driving distraction-free by taking the pledge.
NHTSA – Distracted Driving Campaign
- Get more information on the U Text U Pay campaign.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Driving & Cell Phone Use info
- Learn more about cell phone use when driving including accident data, laws per state, and crash risk.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention – Distracted Driving Info
- Learn who’s most at risk, get quick facts, and see what the federal government is doing to help.
United States Department of Transportation – Traffic Safety Marketing Materials
- Get marketing materials to share with your community from the “One text or call could wreck it all” campaign.
Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner – Distracted Driving Lawyers
- If you were injured by a distracted driver in the Tampa area, contact local attorneys who specialize in distracted driving accidents.
Transportation Research, via ScienceDirect – An analysis of crash risk due to distracted driving
- This scientific article examines and quantifies the effects of distractions on driving.
NSC – Defensive Driving Courses
- Take a local or online class to learn more about driving safety and how to avoid collisions.