Distracted Driving

Every year distracted driving claims thousands of lives. NHTSA estimates that in 2017 distracted driving attributed to 391,000 injury crashes. From 2012 – 2015 distracted driving accidents rose 16 % with over 15,300 accidents. Distracted driving is a serious problem in the united states among young adults to seasoned drivers. The trend is increasing for fatalities attributed to distracted driving:

Year

Fatalities

2016

3,166

2017

3,450

2018

4,637

What is Distracted Driving: 

Distracted driving is the practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity. This includes eating, grooming, talking to someone in the same car, texting, making a phone call, dropping something and trying to retrieve it, GPS devices, music surfing and even reading. Have the passenger handle the cargo and kids.

What are the Risks:

Can kill or injure someone, legal fees, possible jail time, lose your job, your home. In Colorado, distracted driving falls under careless driving. Fines for careless driving range from $250 up to $1000 and punishable up to a year in jail. If an accident occurs while distracted driving, it falls under reckless driving and punishable by $500 to $5000 fine and 18 months in jail.

Cognitive Distractions:

Mental or Cognitive distractions are the most common type. We have a lot on our minds and tend to focus on problems, vacation, sports, family, kids, bills, even the grocery list. We become distracted by our thoughts instead of focusing on driving. In some cases, drivers report not remembering the entire drive home. Has it happened to you? Focus on driving when behind the wheel.

Manual Distractions:

Many drivers try to occupy themselves with other physical activities while driving; taking one or both hands off the wheel. Examples include eating, drinking, fixing your hair or make-up, changing the radio station, and sending text. 6% of all crashes are related to manual distractions. Keep your hands on the wheel.

Visual Distractions:

Taking your eyes off the road, reading that text or email, look for something in your purse or briefcase, changing the radio station. Visual distractions are common and play a big part in crashes, 10% of all crashes are related to visual distractions. A car moving at 60 mph travels 88 feet during a simple 1 second glance.

The Law: Hand Held Devices & Texting While Driving:

Handheld devices may be used for making or receiving calls with hands-free devices. The state prohibits the act of reading, writing, and sending text/email messages while operating a motor vehicle. If involved in an accident where death or bodily injury happens you can be fined a $1000 and can spend up to 1 year in jail. CDL drivers can face $2750 in fines, DQ for 120 days, and 10 points on their license for the first offense. If it’s important, pull over to a safe place. No Call, No Text, No Ticket, No Problem!

“Nine lives are taken daily due to Distracted Driving,”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 Distracted Driving Report

Leave a Comment