07 Sep 2017
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving?

Learn the facts about distracted driving.

For many drivers, quickly checking your navigation system or hurriedly sipping from a water bottle might not seem like a big deal.  However, both these scenarios are instances of distracted driving and can place the driver, their passengers, and anyone sharing the road in serious danger.  It is your responsibility to understand what distracted driving constitutes and take steps to avoid putting yourself and those around you at risk.

Distracted driving isn’t just limited to talking on the phone or reading and sending texts.  In fact, there are many activities such as eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, speaking to passengers, reading, and so on that qualify as distracted driving.  According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), there are three types of distractions.  Manual distractions occur when you move your hands away from the wheel, visual distractions are those when you take your eyes off the road, and cognitive distractions are when you aren’t mentally focused on the task of driving.

Studies have shown that driving while talking on your cellphone is nearly as dangerous as drunk driving, while texting and driving is twice as dangerous as drunk driving.  The NHTSA reports that in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured as a result of distracted drivers.

While young and inexperienced drivers are most at risk for distracted driving accidents, distracted driving is a serious danger that drivers of all ages and skill level need to be aware of.  It is important to remember that distracted driving doesn’t simply imperil the driver, it also places passengers and innocent bystanders in grave danger.

It is up to drivers to make sure that they are driving safely and it is the responsibility of passengers to avoid distracting their driver.  Help keep the roads safe and don’t forget to contact the insurance professionals at Patterson & Associates to ask about auto insurance to protect you and your loved ones.