The Many Preventable Dangers of Distracted Driving

Posted On: October 20, 2015 under

presented by: Gary Massey
According to numbers gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2013 there were approximately 424,000 people hurt in crashes caused by distracted driving. Per the website (the U.S. government website devoted to fighting the distracted driving epidemic), there were also 3,154 fatalities. As smart phone use behind the wheel proliferates, it seems that more and more people are getting into accidents that would have been easily preventable if they had fully understood the dangers of distracted driving.
From the U.S. government to AT&T to, most recently, a group called Decide to Drive, several different organizations have decided to focus on educating the public in ways both funny and disturbing. In particular, some graphic PSAs showing car crashes have been aired in an attempt to shock people into putting down their phones.
But Decide to Drive, an organization run by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers that made an entire series of YouTube videos on this subject, decided to go about it differently. In their more humorous videos, they cover not just phones but also drinks, makeup, and various other factors that can cause drivers to look away from the road. Their series is an important addition to the conversation because they focus on the many other things besides phones that can cause drivers to be unaware of the road and thus more likely to crash.
Although this is by no means complete, here is a brief list of the major things you should avoid while driving in order to keep your eyes and your mind fully on the road:
Your phone: texting, making or answering calls, reading directions
Adjusting mirrors, headrests, or seats
Eating or drinking
Any personal grooming: applying makeup, brushing hair, and so on
Music so loud that it drowns out emergency sirens or other drivers’ horns
Entering information into or otherwise adjusting your navigation system
Many states have adopted increasingly stringent laws with regard to the penalties for distracted driving. Hopefully these laws coupled with the public information campaigns will pay off with a decreased number of accidents and deaths in the near future.