Traffic Safety Institute
The Traffic Safety Experts for more than 30 years!
One Text or Call Could Wreck It All
Did you know that “distracted driving” was the 2009 word of the year according to Webster’s Dictionary? But unfortunately, this is no passing fad. Distracted driving has become a trend with deadly, real consequences.
For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, it’s time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. (NHTSA)
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Nine percent of fatal crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. (NHTSA)
In 2011, 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group had the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. (NHTSA)
While those numbers may sound like just statistics, they’re anything but. They could be parents, children, neighbors and friends from right here in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.
So, why do so many people participate in this dangerous behavior? With more technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented levels. We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24 hours a day, and those desires don’t stop just because they get behind the wheel. Drivers simply do not realize – or choose to ignore – the danger they create when they take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their focus off driving.
People often say, “I can do two things at once. I’ve memorized where the numbers are on my phone, so I don’t have to look.” Or, “Sending or reading one text is pretty quick – that should be okay.” They couldn’t be more wrong.
For those who think they can do two things at once, think about this: According to a study by Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. Can you really afford to lose that much brainpower? Driving is an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe.
Yes, this is a national problem, but it also affects us right here in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. So please remember: One text or call could wreck it all.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial