Distracted driving is a big problem in California, and it can lead to both minor and serious accidents. There are numerous types of distractions that can occur while driving, and many of them are preventative.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while distracted is dangerous and often kills more than 3,000 people every year. Distracted driving relates to anything that turns attention away from driving. This can include:
- Changing the radio station
- Putting an address into GPS
- Drinking and eating
- Putting on makeup
- Handing something to a child in the back seat
- Texting or talking on the phone
The Centers for Disease Control discusses that a distraction can be manual, visual, cognitive or a combination of these. Texting is one of the worst types of distraction because it takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, removes eyes from the road and takes the mind away from the task of driving.
Teenagers are especially at risk for driving while using the phone and, combined with the fact they are inexperienced drivers to begin with, this results in them having the highest percentage of fatal collisions. Not only is texting while driving dangerous, but this behavior often indicates potentially additional risky behavior such as:
- Drinking and driving
- Riding with someone who is under the influence
- Not wearing a seatbelt
To help deal with this issue, more states are passing laws that limit phone use while driving. Many ban texting as well as hand-held use of the phone. Some states also have graduated driver license programs for teenage drivers. In addition, it is important that parents are good role models for their kids and that other teenagers point out when a driver is operating the car in a distracted way.