The Facts about Distracted Driving – Know the Dangers/Avoid the Risks

  • Driving distractions include physical actions that take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel, mental distractions that take your mind off the task of driving and acts that include both physical and mental elements. 
  • Drivers engage in potentially-distracting secondary tasks during more than half of the time spent driving. 
  • Driver inattention is a factor in more than 1 million crashes in North America annually, resulting in serious injuries, deaths and an economic impact reaching nearly $40 billion per year. 
  • Using a cell phone while driving has been found to quadruple your risk of crashing. 
  • The AAA Foundation’s 2009 Traffic Safety Culture Index found 35% of drivers feel less safe today than they did five years ago, and distracted driving was the most common reason cited for this. 
  • The 2009 Index also found 95% of drivers said that texting while driving was unacceptable, but 18% of those same drivers admitted having read or sent a text message or email while driving in the past month. 
  • Last year’s AAA Foundation 2008 Traffic Safety Culture Index found cell phone use is rampant among all ages. Specifically, two out of three drivers aged 18-34 reported using a cell phone while driving, but 53% of drivers aged 45-54 also admitted using a cell phone while driving. 
  • While the distractions of texting, emailing and using a cell phone while driving have been getting a lot of attention lately, other activities while driving such as eating, smoking, adjusting music or rubbernecking can also be dangerous. 
  • Dealing with passengers is one of the most frequently reported causes of distraction. Young children are four times more distracting than adults as passengers, and infants eight times more distracting.
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