One Text or Call Could Wreck It All
Did you know that distracted driving was the 2009 word of the year according to Websters Dictionary? But unfortunately, this is no passing fad. Distracted driving has become a trend with deadly, real consequences.
For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, its time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
In 2009, nearly 5,500 people were killed and a half million more were injured in distracted driving crashes. (NHTSA)
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Twenty percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)
Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. (NHTSA)
While those numbers may sound like just statistics, theyre anything but. They could be parents, children, neighbors and friends from right here in the Oklahoma City Metro area. There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.
So, why do so many people participate in this dangerous behavior? With more technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented levels. We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24 hours a day, and those desires dont stop just because they get behind the wheel. Drivers simply do not realize or choose to ignore the danger they create when they take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their focus off driving.
People often say, I can do two things at once. Ive memorized where the numbers are on my phone, so I dont have to look. Or, Sending or reading one text is pretty quick that should be okay. They couldnt be more wrong.
For those who think they can do two things at once, think about this: According to a study by Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. Can you really afford to lose that much brainpower? Driving is an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe.
Yes, this is a national problem, but it also affects us right here in Oklahoma City Metro area. No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. So please remember: One text or call could wreck it all.