You might be surprised to learn that Cell Phones are just a small part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. Fact, everything that occupied your brain and vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel.
You have to look at where you are going at all times, that sounds like common sense, right? But, we still see people driving without looking as we drive every day. Driving while you are distracted visually is like driving as if your eyes are closed. You wouldn’t make any turns or change lanes while your eyes are closed. But, these distracted drivers are. Driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed is the equivalent of texting while driving at 55 mph. According to Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations texting takes our attention away for an average of 4.6 seconds and we are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Other distractions include eating, adjusting music, applying makeup, reading, or reaching for moving objects.
The brain is only capable of processing a certain amount of information at a time. When we as drivers try to multitask we encounter performance problems. Doing these multiple tasks will compete for the brains attention.
Some quick facts about distracted drivers according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 9 times more likely to have an accident if reaching for a dropped water bottle or other moving item.
- 3 times more likely to have an accident if reading.
- 3 times more likely to have an accident if performing personal grooming, such as applying makeup or lipstick.
- Almost 2 times more likely to have an accident if eating while driving.