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Distracted Driving – The Real Cost

It’s time to face the truth.

When was the last time you checked a text, made a call, or dropped a ketchup covered French fry on your lap while driving?

How many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian, or in a vehicle, have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?

Our technologies have conditioned us to immediately respond to a like, text, post or call from our mobile device. Furthermore, our “on-the-move” society of modern conveniences, makes it more likely for us to combine daily functions - like applying make-up or eating fast food while driving, for example.

In fact, studies show that 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim that it’s easy to do so. In reality, only about 2% of the population can successfully demonstrate the ability to effectively multi-task. Think of a fighter pilot – can you fly an F22 at Mach 2?

    Distracted driving statistics show the real story:
  • A crash typically happens within an average of three seconds after a driver is distracted.
  • Cell phone use accounts for nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States. According to the US Department of Transportation that figure approximates to 1.6 million auto crashes each year.
  • Of those, 500K+ drivers are injured, with 6000, being killed each year by distracted driving.
  • According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving increases the likelihood of an auto accident by 6 times that of driving while intoxicated.
  • During any point of the day, 11% of drivers are talking on their cell phones, according to the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(Source: http://www.donttextdrive.com/statistics/)

    Distracted driving falls into any, or all, of following types:
  • Visual (eyes off the road)
  • Manual (reaching for something or manipulating an object)
  • Cognitive (mind off the task of driving)

Texting while driving incorporates all three at once! In fact, anytime you peak at a text or see who is calling – an average of 5 seconds will pass. At 55 mph, you’ve just covered the length of a football field in that duration of time.

Imagine driving that distance with a blindfold on. Would you accept the challenge and responsibility that follows? Driving a motor vehicle requires us all to safeguard ourselves and others who share the road with us.

Make a commitment starting today to NEVER drive distracted. If you have an incoming text, or call – take it later. Need to eat on the run or apply make-up before your after-lunch meeting; wait till you’re parked.

In order to make a difference we need to change our perceptions and behaviors around distracted driving. Understand that in order to change we must acknowledge the problem within ourselves and commit to focusing on the road only. Secondly, don’t accept anything less from drivers of vehicles in which you are a passenger.

Another way to avoid distractions is to keep on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. Come to any NAPA AutoCare center and we can help you with that.

Posted July 29th, 2015

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