Distracted Driving

Scary huh? And to think that this could’ve easily been avoided. Even in dangerous road conditions, drivers continue to drive distracted. The consequences of distracted driving is not a hidden problem in today’s society by any means, so why is it that so many motorists continue to engage in such dangerous activities? Perhaps it’s because people are simply unaware of the magnitude of danger that distracted driving poses on the world’s roads. If that is, in fact, the sole reason why people continue to drive distracted, then I think the best thing to do is inform them by stating a bunch of scary facts about driving. So in an attempt to combat this growing epidemic, here are the facts:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two out of three motorists will be involved in an accident, causing injury, in their lifetime!
  • When teenagers text and drive, their reaction time slows down to the level of some senior citizens!
  • Behind the wheel, 1 simple text = 4 beers!
  • 1 text = 0.8 blood alcohol level = drunk driving
  • texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At highway speeds, that’s equivalent to travelling the length of an entire football field… BLIND!
  • About 330,000 people are injured because of distracted driving every year.
  • The younger demographic (under 20) have the highest rate of fatal crashes in relation with distracted driving.
  • 80% of crashes are due to driver inattention within three seconds prior to the crash.

Now, these are just a few of the many scary facts, all of which I found right HERE, with the exception of the first fact which can be found HERE. Keep in mind that the first fact is a general fact about driving, so those odds will most definitely increase if you drive distracted! Another thing I would like to point out is in regards to that last point. I, personally was involved in a car accident almost two years ago. I was driving down the road and saw that I had a green light ahead. Confident that it wouldn’t change, I looked down to change the track on the CD I was listening to. By the time I looked up, after about a mere second or two, the light had changed and I found myself unable to stop in time. I slammed the brakes, went through the red light, and I was forced to swerve into a construction zone on the other side of the road to avoid t-boning a car. To this day, I thank God for that construction area because without it, I would’ve been forced into oncoming traffic. I am also so thankful that I was able to avoid any major collision and I have become much more attentive when driving because of that experience. Based on that accident, the legitimacy of that last point does not surprise me in the least, and in my opinion, that’s the scariest fact on the list. I remember, for a split second while braking and swerving, I thought about the possibility of death and how I could possibly die or kill that person in the other car. It was in that moment that I realized how dangerous distracted driving can be. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but you put others at risk too. The fear of death stems from our desire to live, so I can only hope that after reading those facts and my personal experience, that you come to the realization that by engaging in distracting activities while driving, you jeopardize what you cherish the most, life.

Many people associate distracted driving with texting or talking on the phone and, although they aren’t wrong, I don’t think they know that phone use is not the only source of distraction on the road. Distracted driving is not the result of one specific task, it encompasses a wide variety of tasks. In fact, anything you do, if you’re not focusing on the road, is considered a distraction. From applying make-up, to eating, to adjusting your GPS or radio, ALL of it takes your attention away from the road and is therefore a distraction. There are three kinds of distracted driving: visual, manual, and mental. I think that the common association with texting as the main form of distraction is because it involves all three, as illustrated in this image:


It’s really scary to think about how something that we have become so accustomed to doing, such as texting, which is basically second nature to us, is so dangerous when done at the wrong time. I, myself, have definitely been tempted to text while driving, but I am proud to say that I have never done so, mostly because I always understood the danger of it. With that being said, I have fallen victim to other distractions, such as eating or adjusting my radio, which I clearly paid the price for. I have also been in cars where the driver became distracted  and have had some close calls because of it. I think it’s important to note that distracted driving does not affect one particular demographic, it affects everyone! The issue of distracted driving is well summarized in this news broadcast and I strongly encourage you watch it:

I promised myself that I would keep this post as short as possible because my primary goal here is to keep my reader’s attention throughout. I hope that in some way I have inspired you to become a safer driver. Words cannot express the fear I felt when I got into that accident, but that experience definitely opened my eyes to how dangerous driving distracted can be. Prior to the accident, I was like everybody else and naively thought that something like that couldn’t happen to me. Perhaps clarity on this issue can only develop once such an event is experienced. I pray that I’m wrong about that!

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