According to the National Safety Council, the use of a cell phone while driving causes an estimated 1.6 million accidents each year. 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.
Starting July 1, 2020, there will be a new Indiana State Law for distracted driving. This bill will extend the 2011 ban of texting while driving to banning all physical use of a cell phone unless using hands-free technology. We encourage you to take a little extra time to consider the dangers of distracted driving and get to know the laws for distracted driving in your state.
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 year 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? NHTSA.gov and the National Safety Council (NSC) offer resources to help you educate your employees and give examples of policies that may help curb distracted driving.
The Reality Of Multitasking
In today’s busy society, it can often seem like multitasking is the 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?
A study has been done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on driving distractions – 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: