In 2017, the use of a cell phone while driving caused an estimated 1.5 million accidents. In 2018 alone, 4,637 people died in a car accident due to cell phone use. 14% of fatal crashes involved cell phones. Distracted driving is an epidemic.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Though the topic is more than worthy of your attention all year long, we encourage you to take a little extra time this month to consider the dangers of distracted driving and how you can help reduce the risk.
Distracted Driving Impacts EVERYONE!
When you hear ‘distracted driving,’ you likely think of teenagers. This age group is at a great risk – the leading cause of death among 15-20 years olds is in fact vehicle crashes. But it is important to recognize that distracted driving isn’t just a concern for teenagers. It impacts individuals of all ages.
It should also be top of mind for employers. Regardless of your organization’s size, industry, or location, distracted driving puts your employees at risk every day. Employees are your greatest asset – so don’t you want them to arrive to work, travel to a jobsite, visit a client, and make it home safely each day? Distraction.gov and the National Safety Council (NSC) offer resources to help you educate your employees and examples of policies that may help curb distracted driving.
The Reality Of Multitasking
In today’s busy, it can often seem like multitasking is only way to meet the increasing demands on our personal and professional time. Mastering the ability to juggle more than one task often seems like a positive feat…but at what cost?
Distraction.gov shares research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute – and this research should make us question the ability of drivers to safely do more than one thing at a time…
- Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing, and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent - at 55 mph - of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
- Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
Still think you can safely multitask while driving? Take a look at this infographic, The Great Multitasking Lie, created by NSC to see the reality when it comes to cell phone use and driving: