The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is an epidemic throughout our country. As more and more drivers text while on the road, distracted driving crashes are steadily increasing each year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 9 people are killed every day in the U.S. as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver.
Accident reconstruction experts have spent over a decade studying human reaction time. Experts have determined that the average reaction time is 0.7 seconds. These 0.7 second reaction times are reflex actions—similar to withdrawing your hand from a hot surface that has inadvertently been touched. Reflex reactions are instinctive reactions rather than learned reactions. For the average tentative driver, reaction time spikes to 1.5 seconds or higher after sensing danger. Studies show the average time it takes to send a text, eat, drink, or enter an address into GPS while neglecting the road is 4.6 seconds. With the average time of a distraction being 4.6 seconds and the reaction time of a cautious driver being 1.5 seconds, that leaves over 6 seconds between a driver finishing a text and regaining focus to react to any danger.
Distracted driving means driving while not fully paying attention to the road. Many people will directly link distracted driving to texting and driving. However, you can also be distracted by:
Reaching for your phone
Changing the music
Checking your GPS or map (newer vehicles will not allow GPS to be edited while the vehicle is moving)
Viewing social media or email
Eating and drinking
Even talking to passengers in your car can be a distraction. Drivers are distracted ANY TIME your mind and/or your eyes are off the road. Distracted driving is all too common. Think about your daily commute: how many times have you looked over and seen someone looking down at his/her phone? Even a brief “on my way” text can be fatal. Do not let a distraction turn deadly.