Distracted Driving an Increasing Threat on Washington Roadways

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Auto manufacturers are increasingly producing safer and safer cars. However, no amount of safety features can guard against distracted drivers. How many of us have driven in the last week and saw someone looking down at their phone while driving? Eating while driving? Applying makeup while driving? Or, unbelievably, shaving while driving? Yes, people do shave and drive!

The official U.S Government website for distracted driving defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” When a driver is distracted, the threat of injury to the driver, passengers and bystanders increases. Types of distractions include:

Texting;
Talking on a cell phone;
Eating or drinking;
Applying makeup;
Reading; and
Adjusting in-car entertainment such as radio, CD player, navigation system, or DVD system.
Did you know:

3,328 people were killed in distraction related crashes and that 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.[1]
The average time a person takes their eyes of the road to text is five seconds; At 55 m.p.h. this is enough time to travel the length of a football field.[2]
Using a headset for cell phone calls is not substantially safer that hand held phones.[3]
Drivers using a cell phone while driving are impaired equivalent to driving at the legal limit of .08 BAC. [4] (The popular Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters”confirmed this conclusion). http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/cell-phone-vs-drunk-driving-minimyth.htm
As the statistics show, distracted driving is becoming an epidemic that results in needless car crashes causing injuries and loss of lives. The attorneys at Abeyta Nelson suggest eliminating all distractions while the car is in motion. Do not talk or text while the car is in motion. Wait until a red light to change the radio station or enter an address into your navigation system. Finally, please don’t shave while driving! For more information check out http://www.distraction.gov/index.html.

[1] http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
[2] http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
[3] http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
[4] Strayer, D.L., Drews F.A., and Crouch, D.J. (2006) A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and Drunk Driver. Human Factors, 48 2, 381-391).