Posted on 08/18/2011, by Jeremy Edsall
NHTSA Says “IT’S TIME TO PUT IT DOWN”
Drivers Simply Can’t Do Two Things At Once
- Drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves or others.
- The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
- One of the most commonly recognized distractions is cell phone use. Cell phone subscriptions have grown exponentially from 1988 through 2009. About 89 percent, or approximately 277 million of all Americans, have a cell phone, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. For many, it is the only kind of telephone they possess. In a recent NHTSA survey, most individuals (77 percent) reported that they talk on the phone while driving at least some of the time.
Everyone Has A Personal Responsibility
With more portable technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented numbers. We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24 hours-a-day and those desires do not stop just because people get behind the wheel. Drivers simply do not realize the dangers that are posed when they take their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off the wheel and focus on activities other than driving.
Common sense and personal responsibility are a major part of the solution. We simply can’t legislate our way out of this problem. It’s up to each and every person to make sure they "Put It Down" and pay attention to road. The risks are simply too high!
Young Drivers Are Especially At Risk Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group and the numbers of young drivers who text is only increasing.
It’s a trend that poses a growing danger, so it’s important to address this issue now. Parents need to set good example for their children and show them from an early age that it is just not safe to text and/or talk on their phone while driving.
Learn more at the NHTSA website http://www.distraction.gov/