Distracted Driving

"Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road
while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time
to cover the length of a football field blindfolded."

--Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Distracted driving is a major cause of vehicular accidents and leads to many wrongful death claims. According to the website, www.distraction.gov, distracted driving is "any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety." Common distractions include:

  • Eating and Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Attending to/Disciplining child passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Using navigation system
  • Watching television/video
  • Adjusting the radio/CD/temperature controls
  • Cell phone use/talking, texting, surfing the web


Types of Distraction

Traffic safety experts classify distractions into three main types:

  • Manual Distractions - Where you move your hands away from the task of driving
  • Visual Distractions - Where you focus your eyes away from the road.
  • Cognitive Distractions - When your mind wanders away from the task of driving.

Distracted Driving Facts and Figures

  • In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, a nine percent increase from 2011.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27% of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • 10% of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • In 2012, there were 540 non-occupants killed in distraction related crashes.