Sometimes I am amazed at how distracted I can be while driving. I never realized how distracted I really was. Just last week, I asked myself a series of "have you ever" questions:
- -Have you ever arrived at your destination without really paying attention to how you got there because it is so routine?
- -Have you ever picked up your phone while you are driving, if only to check the time?
- -Have you ever looked down at the radio while changing stations?
- -Have you ever read billboards fully while driving?
- -Have you ever been so involved in a conversation on the phone that you forgot to make your turn?
- -Have you ever turned around to look in the back seat at your child talking or sleeping?
- -Have you ever reached for something in the back seat while driving?
- -Have you ever looked in the mirror to groom yourself for a second while driving?
Enough said. This list could go on and on, but the fact is, I answered yes to all the above. (I'm guessing some of you did too?). I'm not proud, but these are small things that we do as drivers that could end in disaster. I've learned through the past year that all I should focus on while I'm driving is... driving. I can't say I'm perfect, but I've come a long way from the text crazy, distracted driver I once was.
So, to practice what I preach, here are some statistics from Distraction.gov to prove why distracted driving is so dangerous:
- -Research indicates that the burden of talking on a cell phone - even if it's hands-free - saps the brain of 39% of the energy it would ordinarily devote to safe driving.
- -Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. But they are not alone. At any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone or driving distracted.
- -Using a cell phone while driving - whether it's hand-held or hands-free delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.