We all know how dangerous using a cell phone while driving is. Not only is the offending driver at risk of getting themselves into an accident, but also causing an accident. How many times have you been behind someone waiting on a green light while texting away. How about the moron driving 40 miles an hour on the freeway while gabbing away on their phone? Well, add social media interaction to the list of idiotic driving actions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (NHTSA), seven out of 10 drivers admit they engage in smartphone activities while driving. Texting and emailing are still the most prevalent. But other smartphone activity use behind the wheel is now common. Among social platforms, Facebook tops the list, with more than a quarter of those polled using the app while driving. About one in seven drivers said they’re on Twitter while behind the wheel.
“Distracted driving is a completely preventable cause of death or injury on our roadways. We believe education can be as important as enforcement in addressing this problem, which is why we are pleased to have our traffic safety partners and other law enforcement agencies working with us,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said.
To raise awareness about unsafe behavior, numerous safety agencies have joined forces to designate April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and an additional 431,000 were injured in collisions involving distracted drivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. That same year, inattention collisions resulted in the death of 104 people and the injury of 11,436 others in California.
Do you think hands-free mode is safer? The available research indicates that whether it is a hands-free or hand-held device, the cognitive distraction is significant enough to degrade a driver’s performance. The driver is more likely to miss key visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash. For more resources, visit the NHTSA’s website www.Distraction.gov.