Proceeding from where 6 Things to Know for Distracted Driving Awareness Month (Pt. 1) left off, here, more interesting and important facts about distracted driving will be revealed.
Were You Aware of these Distracted Driving Facts?
3 – Distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
In fact, what researchers have found is that:
- Distracted drivers have slower reaction times than motorists with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.08 (the legal limit for intoxication in every U.S. state), according to a study conducted at the University of Utah.
- These reaction times can be delayed by as much as 15 seconds, which is plenty of time for driving conditions to change and accidents to happen, according to the NHTSA.
- Texting while driving, one of the most common forms of distracted driving, can cause the same impairments as motorists display after having consumed four (4) alcoholic beverages.
Given that distracted driving has yet to be widely recognized as being as big of a threat to public safety on the roads as drunk driving, campaigns like Distracted Driving Awareness Month are important to educating people and getting more drivers to take distracted driving more seriously.
4 – Hands-free devices are NOT safer or less distracting than hand-held devices.
This may be among the more surprising facts about distracted driving, as many have been operating under the assumption that, if they aren’t using their hands to hold cellphones, then having cellphone conversations is safe and not a “distraction.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, as researchers have found that:
- Talking on hand-held or hands-free devices increases motorists’ risk of getting into traffic accidents by about four times.
- The reason that hands-free devices are not safer than hand-held devices is that the real distraction lies in having the conversation.
- With cellphone conversations, motorists can miss seeing up to half of all important driving cues in their environment due to a phenomenon known as inattention blindness.
Look for the final installment of this blog series for some more important things to know about distracted driving.
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