Distracted Driving: Is It Really Worth The Risk? | Driving Lessons Tunbridge Wells Sevenoaks Maidstone Crowborough: Jody Thomas Driving School

Distracted Driving: Is It Really Worth The Risk?

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Call now: 07717 805 566

Distracted Driving: Is It Really Worth The Risk?

 distracted-driving

Our generation always seems to be multi-tasking in order to keep up with busy schedules and deadlines.  Drivers grab a quick bite behind the wheel, check their email on their smart phone, or reach for objects around the car.  All of these actions, though, are forms of distracted driving and increase the risk of an accident, putting drivers’ lives in jeopardy. Although it is illegal to use a phone at the wheel, a 2011 RAC report reveals that drivers are engaging in distracted behaviors, and young drivers are most likely to take part in this dangerous habit.

According to the report, about 48 percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 had admitted to smart phone distractions.  Twenty-four percent use an iPod to listen to music, 23 percent read emails and 22 percent check Google maps while driving.  Although many new drivers think that they can handle a quick glance at a text, statistics put the risk in perspective:  the average text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds.  That’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph – blind.

Distracted driving goes beyond cell phone use.  Eating,, drinking, adjusting controls or reaching for an object can increase the risk of an accident.  Any behavior that takes the driver’s focus away from the road or their hand off the wheel is considered distracted driving.  A study from the University of Leeds reveals that drivers’ reaction times increased by 44 percent when eating behind the wheel and by over a fifth when sipping a drink, compared to driving with both hands on the wheel.

Statistics reveal that distracted driving is a problem in other countries as well.  Canadian researchers found that 20 to 30 percent of all collisions involve distracted drivers.  In the United States, more than 15 people are killed and 1,200 people injured in crashes every day due to distracted driving.  Only 39 states have laws against the dangerous habit, but states without them are starting to take action.  The city of Tampa held Florida’s first distracted driving summit.  New laws could decrease the number of statewide and Tampa personal injury cases, serious medical complications, and lost lives due to automobile accidents.

RAC strategist, Adrian Tink, explained how “the popularity of smart phones and apps, especially among younger drivers who have grown up with technology, risks creating a new generation of drivers who believe using a phone behind the wheel is acceptable.”  All drivers need to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road to ensure that they get to their destination safely.  Behind the wheel is not the place for multi-tasking.