According to National Safety Council estimates, there is a cell phone related car accident every 24 seconds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded that 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents are the result of distraction behind the wheel. Drivers who are not paying attention to the task of safe driving are a hazard. Safety experts are working to address the dangers of distracted driving. Part of the plan is to make people understand the danger they put themselves in, and the danger they pose to others, when they take their attention off the wheel.
Some distractions have been present for years. Drivers can be seen eating, reading, checking their reflection in rearview mirrors and turning their heads to talk to passengers. Technology is not required to split a driver’s attention. Those distractions may pale in comparison to those created by cell phones. Texting, chatting, web browsing and other activities that would have been impossible not long ago are now a simple matter for anyone with a smart phone. Unfortunately, those activities are not compatible with safe driving.
While most states now have anti-texting laws on the books, it is not clear if the laws have been effective in deterring distracted driving. Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate just how dangerous texting and driving can be. Some have concluded that the behavior is more dangerous than drunk driving, while others have concluded that it is less dangerous than eating and driving. It is clear that texting and driving does impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
Source: KSL TV, “Victim of distracted driving: ‘two seconds’ changed my life,” by Mike Headrick, 19 February 2013