Why is distracted driving so dangerous?

Over the last 10 years, distracted driving has become the top cause of accidents in the United States. Even while many states, including Pennsylvania, have toughened laws to curb distracted driving in recent years, more than 2,800 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2018.

Cell phone use while driving

Cell phone use, especially texting, is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. That’s because using your phone behind the wheel leads to all three types of distracted driving:

  1. Visual: You take your eyes off the road when you are texting or using your phone’s touch features.
  2. Manual: You take your hands off the wheel while using your phone.
  3. Cognitive: You aren’t thinking about driving when you are texting or using your phone while behind the wheel.

One of the reasons that texting while driving is so dangerous is that you can take your eyes off the road for five seconds while texting. If your vehicle is traveling 55 miles per hour, that means you will travel the length of a football field while texting. That’s plenty of space where you can miss changes in traffic and end up in a catastrophic accident.

Stopping cell phone use while driving

Using your cell phone while driving always is tempting. You may want to read that text that just came in or check our Facebook feed for just a second. However, you can make it easier to stop using your cell phone behind the wheel by following these tips:

  1. Silence your phone.
  2. Use an app that prevents phone use while driving.
  3. Turn your phone off and tuck it in your purse or under the seat while driving.
  4. Have someone else navigate for you.
  5. Pull over and stop if you really need to use your phone.

No one wants to cause an accident in which someone, including yourself, is seriously injured. If you are a parent, you want to set a good example for you children and teens and avoid distracted driving. By staying off your phone, you, your passengers and other motorists are much more likely to avoid an accident and arrive home safely.