In some form or another, distracted driving has always been a safety concern. However, the widespread increase in cellphone use over the past decade has put an increased focus on the hazard of distracted drivers. It is universally recognized that hand-held mobile device use, especially texting, while driving greatly increases the risk of an accident. In fact, texting while driving is so distracting studies have shown it to be as dangerous as drunk driving.
When you are distracted behind the wheel, you not only put yourself in danger but also endanger the lives of those sharing the road with you.
Every day, nearly 9 people are killed and more than 1,160 people are injured in crashes reportedly involving a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the NHTSA claims that driver inattention is the leading contributing factor in most crashes or near-miss accidents in the United States.
Inattention on the Road
Of all crashes, over 90 percent involve driver inattention within a three-second window of the incident. The moral of the story: When motorists change radio stations, try to read maps or talk on cellphones, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
How Texting is Unique
The latest danger to hit the roadways in recent years is texting while driving. Texting requires a motorist’s full attention, which obviously inhibits attention to the road. This concern is by no means limited to everyday drivers; inattention due to texting has caused many occupational drivers to be involved in deadly roadway crashes. Consider the following instances:
- A Boston trolley driver missed a red light while texting his girlfriend and smashed into another trolley. This accident injured 50 people.
- A Florida truck driver killed two young women when he hit their vehicle because he was texting.
- An attorney in Nevada rolled his company-issued SUV because he failed to pay attention due to texting.
It’s Against the Law
Many states have laws outlawing the use of cellphones and texting while driving. To avoid a ticket and a potentially dangerous accident, do not use your cellphone in any capacity while driving. If you must make a phone call or text, pull off the road safely and then do so. No message is more important than saving someone’s life.
Distracted Driving Policy
Van Wyk Risk Solutions has the capabilities and resources to help implement a distracted driving policy. Fill out the Contact Us form on the left to receive a policy with guidelines and restrictions regarding drivers’ use of cellphones.
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