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Drivingness: Distractions, Car Accidents, and Driver Safety

Updated on May 10, 2013

Distractions on the Road

Talking on a cell phone and driver safety is a major distraction on the roads. Study after study has found that hand held cell phone use while driving is extremely dangerous.  In one study done by University of Utah psychologists, they found people who drive and talk on a cell phone, hand held, or hands free are more likely to get into an accident because they are distracted when they talk.  Driver’s reaction in this study were slower to react to situations and to brake slower, and increased their risk of crashing , similar to reactions of those driving while intoxicated .   

The use of cell phones while driving is a big problem to driver safety. According to USNews.com the multitasking of driving and cell phone use is becoming more and more an issue.

Driver Distraction

Texting is Distracted Driving

Texting and driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. Be aware and help us all be safer.
Texting and driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. Be aware and help us all be safer. | Source

Cell Phones, Texting and Driving

¨ 72% of drivers use their cell phones while driving

¨ 66% of drivers don’t use hands free devices

¨ 25% send or receive texts when driving

Driver safety becomes an issue when talking on a cell phone for many obvious reasons. Multitasking while driving can easily cause the driver to be distracted. In a research done by the University of South Carolina studied how participating in a conversation, creates added strain on the brain and can hinder the visual responsibility while of the driver. Driver safety becomes endangered by overloading the brain. People in the study were 4 times more likely to not be attentive when they were talking or about to talk on the cell phone. When people listen they can tune in and out, but they couldn’t do that as easily when talking, and this created more likihood of distractions to driver safety. The study also found people were able to focus on what is in front of them more easily when the phone was put in front of them. The reason for this, it is believed, is because there is less distraction when both tasks are in the same physical space.

According to the U.S. government, there are 3 ways a driver can be distracted

1. when they take their eyes off of what is ahead of them

2. when they take their hands off the steering wheel

3. when they are not paying attention to what they are doing

Texting is Very Risky While Driving

A study done by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in 2009, concluded that the risk of a car accident is 23 times more likely when people are texting and driving at the same time.  The National Safety Council calculates that about 200,000 car accidents can be attributed to texting. Teens understand the dangers of drunk driving better than the risks of texting, according. Teens and adults admit to texting  behind the wheel at about an equal percent. The good news is in 2009 distracted driving accidents went down by 6% compared to 2008. Distracted driving, especially from electronic devices is still a major problem, but with awareness and stepped up effort to change this on all our parts, maybe this blog will become obsolete. 

Enforcing the Rules

Why do people need rules to do what is right and what makes sense?
Why do people need rules to do what is right and what makes sense? | Source

Keep Your Eyes on The Road

A study done by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in 2009, concluded that the risk of a car accident is 23 times more likely when people are texting and driving at the same time.  The National Safety Council calculates that about 200,000 car accidents can be attributed to texting. Teens understand the dangers of drunk driving better than the risks of texting, according. Teens and adults admit to texting  behind the wheel at about an equal percent. The good news is in 2009 distracted driving accidents went down by 6% compared to 2008. Distracted driving, especially from electronic devices is still a major problem, but with awareness and stepped up effort to change this on all our parts, maybe this blog will become obsolete.

There is no federal law across the United States that prohibits drivers from using cell phones. 30 states and the District of Columbia outlawed drivers from texting,   8 states  have laws against drivers to stop them from  using hand held cell phones.  Senator Charles Schumer,(democrat from New York) is pushing for legislation that would holdback some of the money allocated for transportation from the government if a  states  refuses to pass laws against  texting and driving. Tickets and penalties may not be enough to stop people from using their electronic devices while driving.  People do not believe there is a perceived risk, or believe they can multitask both well while driving. But the toll it takes on our brain to multitask while in the car is greater than we think.  Our thinking needs to change. Any call that is important enough to take or make is important enough to pull off the road for. Remember this, and tell everyone you know to do the same.  It is just one more thing we can do for each other for a safer journey.

How many us think about the abilities we have in this day and age to travel so many miles, so fast, yet communicate as though we haven’t left the block. Cell phones, texting, GPS and automobiles are amazing devices. They don’t mix though. Driving is a privilege.  Driving a 2 ton vehicle is a big responsibility. Driving with our full attention behind the wheel is what we all need from each other.

 Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your fingers off phones. 

Drive safely!  Spread the word.  Create awareness! 

Do You Think Higher Fines Deter Distracted Drivers from Multitasking?

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What do you think will help stop people from talking, and texting while driving?

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    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      toknowinfo 

      7 years ago

      Hi Earnest,

      People think they can multitask at everything. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 

      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I have enough trouble texting when I'm at home with no distractions. Why anyone would text and drive is beyond my comprehension.

      A very useful and timely hub.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      toknowinfo 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. Driving is tough enough and now that so many text and drive and use their cell phone at the same time it is only getting worse. All we can hope is that technology will somehow help to change things for the better.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      You do not live in southern cali do you? I wrote a hub about the drivers out here.... SCREAM

    • azure_sky profile image

      azure_sky 

      7 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Excellent words of advice toknowinfo! Unfortunately, some people just "don't get it"! I must admit though, that I find talking on a "handsfree" cell phone akin to talking to a passenger in my vehicle...maybe I am wrong? I just put my phone on speaker, and tuck it under my bra strap on my shoulder....but the texting while driving is a no-no for me!! I have witnessed several arguments between drivers on the freeway...where one driver pulls up and rolls down their window yelling at the other driver while mimicking the others texting.....

      Voted Up and useful:) Thanks for making me think!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      toknowinfo 

      7 years ago

      Hi Beege215e,

      Glad you found this hub useful. I made up the word "drivingness", a lot of my hubs start with names I made up. You are not behind the times, just don't be behind the wheel while you are reading this. Thanks for your input.

    • Beege215e profile image

      Beege215e 

      7 years ago

      I have never before heard the word "drivingness" Did you do something new here? Or am I just behind the times? Your hub has a lot of good information and I agree wholeheartedly with avoiding people on the phone while driving. I hate having lawmakers involved in many aspects of our daily lives, but fools will be fools and therefore we need govt to make rules to try to curtail the carnage the fools wreak. Good hub, thanks

    • trevzooms profile image

      trevzooms 

      7 years ago from Honest within myself

      Hi, I was driving behind someone using a mobile once, they were all over the road, deadly, so if you've help prevent one collision a hub well worth writing.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR

      toknowinfo 

      7 years ago

      I think people take for granted that multitasking while driving is not the thing to do. We tend to overestimate our abilities and underestimate what could happen. Hopefully educating people about this issue will change people's perceptive. Spread the word about this hub so the roads become safer

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I wish I knew what would make people stop it. Someone speeding while driving and talking on a cell phone totalled our last car with us in it. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the accident got blamed on us because we were coming out of our driveway. When we started the car that hit us hadn't come over the hill half a mile away to be visible yet, but it was moving fast on a major highway. Witnesses said the driver was really moving and the officer on the scene said the driver had been talking on a cell phone.

      I won't even turn my phone on when I'm driving. Even talking to a passenger can be distracting.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      7 years ago

      well done! It seems people are careless until they are fined for it. Even that doesn't stop some.

      Putting your link into my hub because it fits so well!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub,people today still are texting even though they can be fined for doing it when driving. Will they have to have their license taken away has well has a fine,maybe thats the next step needed.

      Thumbs up!!!

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