A few seconds is not a very long time. But, if you’re driving, taking your hands off the steering wheel even for a few seconds can change your life and the lives of countless others. A few seconds is all it takes to be distracted. Distracted driving doesn’t just mean driving while using a cell phone or texting. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off the road).
Texting and talking on the phone are both mental and physical distractions. Cell phone use is attributed to 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes. But what makes up the other 82%? Putting on lipstick, reaching over to grab a drink, changing the music, reading a roadmap, eating on the go, and many other seemingly “harmless” diversions. Distractions while driving seem to be endless.
But they don’t have to be.
Orlando product safety attorney Hank Didier will join more than 850 attorneys from all 50 states and across Canada to help End Distracted Driving by talking with more than 430 local teens at Edgewater High School in Orlando on Friday, April 27 at 12:25pm.
The 60-minute presentation—part of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and in conjunction with The Casey Feldman Foundation, EndDD.org and 60 for Safety’s End Distracted Driving Student Awareness Campaign—will offer high school teens an educational, yet sobering glimpse into the tragic results that can occur when driving distracted. Take a look a few facts below, courtesy of distracted.gov:
- Distracted driving is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths and close to 450,000 injury-producing accidents in the U.S. every year.
- Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
- Drivers who use handheld devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
- Sending / receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds—the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field, including end zones, at 55 mph.
- Driving while using a cellphone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.