dwd-graphic-300x162Driving while Distracted has become a significant cause of accidents as well as a cause for an increase in car and health insurance premiums. I used to think that Driving while Distracted referred to my wife, who I jokingly call Garmin, being a “back seat driver.”

Driving while Distracted, however, has taken on a whole new meaning. Why focus on the road when you can program a GPS, send a text, put on makeup or talk on the phone all while driving? Let’s not forget about the morning coffee or lunch that we eat in the car. If you don’t think drinking coffee or eating is a big deal, spill something while you are behind the wheel.

We have conditioned ourselves to think that driving on ice is hazardous. We drive slower, and even I, the purest of multi-taskers, will not talk on the phone in icy conditions. However, given the inherent risks of Driving while Distracted, shouldn’t we also condition ourselves against the new technological types of distractions?

Here are a few scary facts from miscellaneous tests or surveys performed:

  • Texting takes a driver’s attention away for an average of 4.6 seconds or enough time to travel a football field at 55MPH
  • 46% of Teens admitted to texting while driving
  • 21% of fatal car crashes of drivers between the ages of 16-19 are a result of cell phone usage
  • 80% of accidents are caused by distracted drivers
  • 10% of all drivers are on their phones at any point in time
  • Drivers talking on the phone are 4 times more likely to have an accident.