Introduction – Distracted driving is a growing and dangerous problem in today’s society that can lead to accidents causing injury and even death.
Risk factors with distracted driving: Talking on a cell phone while driving
Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
There are three main types of distraction:
·Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
·Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
·Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
Statistics on distracted driving:
69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed. In Europe, this percentage ranged from 21% in the United Kingdom to 59% in Portugal.
Conclusion – Mobile phones have immense public utility, improving communication in social and commercial interactions. Nonetheless, their role in driver distraction and consequently in road traffic crashes means that some measure of “reining in” their use while driving is required.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. Available from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html. Accessed October 9, 2014
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April 2013. Publication no.
DOT HS 811 737. Available from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811737.pdf. Accessed October 9, 2014.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011. MMWR 2013 / 62(10);177-182.
Olsen EO, Shults RA, Eaton DK. Texting while driving and other risky motor vehicle behaviors among US high school students. Pediatrics. 2013;131(6):e1708-e1715.
Federal Railroad Administration. Restrictions on Railroad Operating Employees’ Use of Cellular Telephones and Other Electronic Devices. Washington, DC. US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, 2011.