- Every five seconds, a vehicle crashes on a U.S. roadway, and every 12 minutes, someone dies as a result. Many of these crashes occur during the workday and on company time. It is an expensive problem for employers, who often foot the bill for the related injuries, repairs and premium increases.
One of the biggest and most common contributors to roadway crashes is distracted driving. In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, and 3,477 people were killed.
What is distracted driving? There are many different types, including visual, manual and cognitive distractions. As drivers spend more and more time in their vehicles, attempting to multitask from behind the wheel, almost any activity can be potentially distracting. Even routine things such as talking to passengers, eating, talking on cell phones or texting can be dangerous distractions for drivers.
Studies show that distracted driving is a factor in as many as 25–30% of all crashes on the road — that’s around 4,000 crashes a day!
- Distracted driving is defined as any activity that can divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are three primary types of driving distractions: visual, manual and cognitive.
- Visual driving distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road. Examples include activities such as checking your GPS or navigation system, looking to see what song is playing on the radio, and searching for mirror or temperature controls or lost items on the floor of your vehicle.
- Manual distractions are defined as distractions that cause you to take your hands off of the wheel, such as eating, drinking, smoking, checking your phone, adjusting the radio or setting a destination in your vehicle’s in-dash navigation system.
- Cognitive distractions take your focus and concentration away from driving. This could be anything from talking to other passengers in the vehicle to road rage or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Stress and fatigue are also a factor.
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