Distracted driving kills. It only takes a split second to be distracted and to increase the risk of a crash. What most people fail to recognize is that distracted driving is any non-driving activity that motorists engage in that distracts them from keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
But here’s the harsh reality. Despite knowing the dangers of distracted driving, 65% of Connected World magazine readers openly admit to being distracted while driving and that it puts themselves and others at risk when they are behind the wheel. But the fear of causing an accident still has not stopped them from using their electronic devices when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
So what is distraction? There are three types of distraction: visual—taking your eyes off of the road; manual—taking your hands off the wheel; and cognitive—taking your mind off what you are doing. Of all the distractions, sending and receiving a text is by far the most dangerous as it takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which, at 60 miles per hour, is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field.
Knowing that distraction is a deadly weapon, almost 50% of motorists admit to sending or receiving a text while they drive. Is the best way to end distraction through education, legislation, or stiffer penalties? Another question is what example does this send our novice drivers seeking learner permits? Are parents proving to be good role models as they perform the very acts that are causing as many as 3,300 deaths on our roadways as a result of distraction?
Couple this with 46% of readers who acknowledge they are concerned about not being connected 24/7 with other devices in their lives from their home, car, fitness, health, and energy, just to name a few. Have we become a society now that is more concerned with being connected than with human life? Perhaps we should all ponder that question.