April 1st starts National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
National Distracted Driving Month
The whole month of April is the National Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign sponsored by FocusDriven. With the technology of cellphones, GPS units, and other distractions a driver can encounter, the Hasbrouck Heights Police will be out in full force with a Zero Tolerance. The following information was supplied by FocusDriven, who represent all victims of Distracted Driving, regarding the dangers of driving while distracted.
Dangers of Conversation
Cell phone use has grown dramatically in recently years. In 1995, cell phone subscriptions covered only 11% of the United States population; in 2010, that number grew to 93%. This has led to a substantial increase in cell phone use while driving and distracted driving-related deaths.
At any one time, 9% of drivers are talking on cell phones, making them 4 times as likely to crash.
Talking on a cell phone while driving requires the brain to multitask—a process it cannot do safely while driving. While a growing number of drivers are turning to hands-free devices, studies show hands-free devices provide no safety benefit. The area of the brain responsible for processing moving visual information—a vital part of driving—has 37% less capacity to gather and process critical driving data and instead focuses on the cell phone conversation.
It’s the conversation, not the device, that creates the danger.
Almost 70% of the respondents to the 2010 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported talking on a cell phone while driving in the previous 30 days, yet nearly 2 in 3 drivers say that drivers talking on cell phones are a threat to their personal safety. People realize that talking on a cell phone while driving is a dangerous behavior, but they continue to engage in this behavior.
We can all help put an end to this deadly problem by not to driving while using a cell phone and encouraging others to do the same. This simple commitment will save lives and create a safer environment for us all.
Texting has increasingly become the way many people communicate. American teens send and receive an average of 3,300 text messages per month—more than 6 texts every hour they are awake. Sending text or email messages while driving is extremely dangerous, as it draws a driver’s eyes, mind and hands away from the road.
On average, texting causes drivers to look away from the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, the vehicle travels the length of an entire football field – including both end zones – while the driver isn’t looking.
Drivers texting while driving not only display slower reaction times and have difficulty staying in their lane, but also are less likely to see:
- High and low relevant objects
- Visual cues
- Exits, red lights and stop signs
Drivers using cell phones behind the wheel miss half of the information in their driving environment. Texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times.
Drivers who type or read text messages contribute to at least 100,000 crashes each year, leading to thousands of preventable deaths. Take the pledge today to stay cell free while on the road so you are not responsible for the senseless death of another human being.
No text is worth a life.
Cell Phone Use
Although cell phone use is commonly thought of as talking and texting, there also are other distractions contributing to the problem:
- Dialing a phone number
- Using email, Facebook and Twitter
- Plugging a phone into a charger
- Playing a game
- Downloading or using apps
- Surfing the web
- General manipulation of the phone
These are more reasons why FocusDriven calls for a total ban on cell phone use. All of these actions are dangerous, and as technology continues to evolve more distractions will emerge. Get involved today by implementing and supporting:
- Cell phone istracted driving legislation
- Corporate cell phone bans
- Public education
- High-visibility law enforcement
- Safe driving technology