Almost everybody has been tempted to make a phone call while driving, or even has sneaked in a text or glanced at an email at a red light. We know that it takes our minds off the road, but few people realize the risk.
Recent studies show that 18% of auto accidents resulting in injury are due to distracted driving. In human terms, that comes to 3,331 people who were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and an additional 387,000 people who were injured.
Here are the alarming facts.
– Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
– Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
– Young drivers, under the age of 20, have the highest proportion of distracted-driving related deaths
In 2009, the government launched a distracted driving campaign. Since then, they have held two national distracted driving summits, banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, and encouraged states to adopt tough laws. (www.disraction.gov) Campaigns against distracted driving are fast becoming a part of spinal cord injury prevention.
What’s the best way to prevent distracted driving? Please share your ideas below.