Distracted driving – 5 seconds is all it takes


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:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Lighting a cigarette
  • Talking to passengers
  • Turning to kids in the backseat
  • Grooming
  • 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.

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