Hang Up on Distracted Driving

August 2, 2019

By the Numbers

More than 95% of Americans think a driver using a cellphone is a threat to their personal safety. However:

  • Nearly 70% of drivers reported talking on their phone
  • Close to 35% acknowledged reading a text or email
  • More than 26% admitted to typing a text/email

Drivers talking on a cellphone – including hands-free users – lose up 50% of their field of vision, according to the National Safety Council.

Why does a distracted driver’s field of vision diminish? It’s because the brain can only fully process one task at a time. If we’re driving and talking on a cellphone, our mind is storing and reacting on some information, but not all of it. For example, we may see a traffic light – but not see that it is red. As a result, drivers on the phone are four times more likely to experience a vehicle accident. Motorists who are texting or emailing are eight times more likely to have a mishap.

What can we do to prevent such incidents? If you’re driving and the phone rings, ask yourself if the call can wait. If it can’t, safely pull over your vehicle before answering the phone. That way you can pay your full attention to the phone conversation, without putting yourself or other drivers at risk.