A classic example of Good News / Bad News.
Recent reports suggest that distracted driving is still a massive problem across the State of Pennsylvania. Citations, accidents, injuries resulting from accidents all related to distracted driving are up over the last 5 years in the Commonwealth. And while it is nice to hear that fatalities are down, one still is left wondering, “What are we going to do about this?”
Nearly every vehicle sold on the market today has hands-free Bluetooth technology standard, or at the very least, as an option. For those that do not have this technology available in their vehicles, it is imperative that drivers purchase a Bluetooth earpiece so that they can answer phone calls without taking their attention away from the roadway. How much of a danger has distracted driving become? Just look at some of these alarming facts about texting while driving, arguably the worst type of distracted driving:
- 5 seconds is the minimal amount of attention that a driver who texts takes away from the road. If traveling at 55 mph, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
- Texting makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.
- Teens who text while driving spend 10% of the time outside their lane.
- According to AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey, 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% do it anyway.
- 19% of drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving.
- 40% of teens say that they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone.
- According to 77% of teens, adults tell them not to text or email while driving, yet adults do it themselves “all the time.”
- 9 in 10 teens expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less, which puts pressure on them to respond while driving.
Ultimately, everyone is guilty of some sort of distraction from time to time on the roads. Phone calls, texting and surfing the web are some of the worst offenses, sure. But, even those who consider themselves safer drivers are distracted by passengers, the radio, food and drink. Safety is everyone’s responsibility on the roadways. Do you part by eliminating distractions and setting a good example for younger drivers!