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Distracted Driving

By Lauren Jurgemeyer

TAAP Public Safety Marketing

Have you ever known yourself to disassociate while driving? You remember pulling out of your driveway and then the next thing you know--you're at your destination. Disassociating, or going through the motions, qualifies as distracted driving. Distracted driving is considered doing anything that draws focus from the primary activity--operating a vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury crashes were caused by distracted driving. There are three main types of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions are considered to be anything taking hands from the wheel, visual distractions are anything removing the eyes from the road, and cognitive distractions are when the mind wanders from the task of driving.

The University of Utah said that cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. And while statistics name the age group of 15-20 year-olds most likely to be distracted drivers--it is a learned habit. The End Distracted Driving organization has found that teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times as likely to also drive distracted. Even taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds, at about 55 mph, equates to the length of a football field in terms of distance according to NHTSA. And while over 84% of drivers recognize the dangers of distracted driving, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 36% of those same people admitted to having read, sent, a text or email while driving in the previous month.


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