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FOCUS ON ROAD

Whatever it is, it can wait

Add even one distraction to the mix and the chances of crashing rise dramatically.

Driving safely can be a challenge even when a driver is paying attention to the road and to other potential hazards. Add even one distraction to the mix and the chances of crashing rise dramatically. Distractions come in many forms.

Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road is a distraction. No amount of text messaging, status updating, eating, reading, music changing, or makeup applying is worth your life: It can wait. You might let your eyes wander for only a moment, but that’s all it takes to cause a tragic crash. Why is it so hard to text and drive?

Distraction is difficult to determine

Distraction as a factor in vehicle crashes is difficult to determine. Therefore distraction-related crash statistics are believed to be significantly underestimated.

Number of passengers risk infographic
For young drivers, the risk of a crash increases significantly with each additional passenger in the vehicle.
Ten percent involve alcohol infographic
In 2018, 10 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. involved some form of distracted driving.
Twenty year-olds represent 16% infographic
Young, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old represent 16 percent of distracted driving crashes.
Twenty-Five percent of crashes involve distraction infographic
One in four car crashes involved distracting driving of some sort.

Distractions Come in Many Forms

Mind Off Driving Venn Diagram infographic

It doesn’t take much to distract a driver. Even the simplest of tasks, both legal and illegal, can lead to loss of control of a vehicle.

  • Using a cell phone or texting
  • Reading
  • Eating or drinking
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Adjusting music players

Why is so hard to text and drive?

Technology today provides us with quick, portable access to information. It helps us work more efficiently, but can also create additional distractions that may take our focus off the road. The most alarming of these distractions is talking or texting while driving. These actions require a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive attention from a driver. Because of this, the likelihood of a crash increases drastically when you drive while using a hand-held phone. Don’t risk it! Focus on the road.

Drivers four times more likely while distracted infographic
Drivers are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves while driving distracted.
Texting creates a crash risk three times more likely infographic
Texting creates a crash risk three times more likely than driving while not distracted.
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity infographic
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
Texting takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds infographic
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds!

It's the law, not a suggestion

  • Distracted drivers, including texting drivers, can be cited for careless driving with fines starting at $100.50 and may have their license suspended. In addition, drivers may be cited for all other infractions incurred due to distracted driving, including vehicular homicide if a death occurs.
  • It is illegal for a minor to text or use an electronic communication or entertainment device while driving.
  • It is illegal for an adult to text while driving.
  • Commercial motor vehicle operators may be fined up to $2,750 if using communication or entertainment devices while driving.
  • It’s still considered texting while driving while stopped at a red light.
  • For teen drivers, the ban on all electronic communication and entertainment devices while driving, handheld or hands-free, is a primary law, meaning a law enforcement officer may stop a vehicle solely on this violation.
  • A teen who is convicted of texting or using a communication or entertainment device while driving will incur a 30-day driver’s license suspension and the clock will restart on the crash-free and moving traffic violation-free period necessary to go to the next graduated driver’s license level.

What you can do

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Set route while parked

If you are using a GPS to help you navigate, set your route before you take to the road. Secure your device to the vehicle. Don't hold your device in your hand while driving.

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Ask a passenger to help

Ask a passenger to assist you with activities that may be distracting while you are driving, such as reading directions.

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Avoid temptation

Before driving, set your phone to silent and store it in a place where you will not be tempted to access it while driving.

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Do it later

Do not eat, apply makeup, reach across the vehicle for items or conduct any other distracting activities while driving.

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Use an app to disable your phone

Download and install an application for your cell phone that blocks calls and texting while driving.

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Ask a passenger to help

Ask a passenger to assist you with activities that may be distracting while you are driving, such as reading directions.

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Full attention

Drive only when you’re able to give the road your full attention.

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Buckle up

Buckle up. Every seat, every time.

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