The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines Distracted Driving as: "any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system - anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving." These activities are a direct threat to safety on America's roads.
The NHTSA's latest Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes Report found that distracted driving took 3,450 lives in 2016 alone. That's an average of 9 deaths a day - last year nearly 1 out of every 10 fatal crashes involved a distracted driver. It's time to act - before one more life is lost or destroyed forever.
In the U.S., all commercial motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from using any handheld mobile devices while driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation provides a handout outlining the regulations for CMV drivers. This model could easily be modified to create legislation banning distracted driving in all passenger vehicles nationwide.
According to the NSC: "Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but when you are the one distracted, you often don't realize that driver is you."
In 2016 alone, distracted driving killed 3,450 people. Did you know technology exists that could prevent many of those crashes? Cellphone blocking apps and devices can help drivers stay focused. They prevent phones from making or accepting calls, texting or accessing the internet.
Founded in 1995, DRIVE SMART Virginia is a non-profit organization working to raise awareness and change behavior in an effort to improve safety on Virginia roadways. The group endeavors to improve the lives of all Virginians through its public information and education initiatives.
21-year old Casey Feldman was struck and killed by a distracted driver in July 2009. EndDD.org is a project of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, which was founded in 2009 by Casey’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson.
There are many distractions which may prevent a driver from focusing on the complex task of driving. GHSA believes the federal government should fund considerably more research to determine the scope and nature of the distracted driving problem, effective countermeasures and the effect of telematics on driving behavior.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute website maintains an archive of public presentations on distracted driving.
The prevalence of cellular phones, new research, and publicized crashes has started many debates related to the role cell phones play in driver distraction. This chart details state cellular phone use and texting while driving laws.
"With more and more people owning mobile phones, and the rapid introduction of new 'in-vehicle' communication systems, [distracted driving] is likely to escalate globally in the coming years. This Report focuses on the use of mobile phones while driving as one example of the broader problem of driver distraction."