Distracted driving is a major factor in car crashes — many leading to fatalities. And distraction is a matter of seconds – if you are traveling at 55 mph, a mere five seconds will carry you the length of a football field. The public service video spot below shows just how quickly something can go terribly wrong.
Today, the emphasis is all on texting. While texting is indeed a major culprit (it’s involved in 18% of all distraction-related fatalities), there are many other forms of distraction.
Distraction falls in three main categories
Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
Visual – taking your eyes off the road
Cognitive – taking your mind off driving
Here’s a list of common distracting activities:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Lighting a cigarette
- Talking to passengers
- Turning to kids in the backseat
- Reading, including maps
- Reaching to the glove compartment
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Pets that are unsecured in the car
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
- External distractions
Learn more about driver distractions at distraction.gov.