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Cars on a highway.

The Dangers of Driving While Distracted

Car-crash fatalities are on the rise. whatever the solution, the time for action is now., sharing is nice.

We respect your privacy . All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story.

Five-year-old Moriah Modisette died one Christmas Eve after a distracted driver plowed into the back of her family's car on a Texas highway, according to police reports.

Garrett Wilhelm, 20 at the time, was accused of video chatting on his smartphone when traffic ahead of him slowed. The police say he didn't notice and slammed into the Modisettes' car at full speed. The force of the collision caused the car to spin, coming to rest facing the wrong direction in traffic.

The little girl was airlifted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, says the police report of the 2014 incident. Her older sister, Isabella, 8, who was sitting next to her in the backseat, survived, as did her mother, Bethany, who was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota Camry. Moriah's father, James, in the driver's seat, was knocked unconscious and spared seeing the events that led to his daughter's death.

Wilhelm has a manslaughter charge pending against him because of the crash, in which his Toyota 4Runner landed in the highway median. A police officer found the video call still running on Wilhelm's iPhone.

The Modisettes didn't want to be interviewed for this article, but Greg Love, a lawyer for the family, spoke with CR. "Bethany and Moriah's older sister, Isabella, were conscious and perceived everything that happened inside that car," he said. Love also pointed out that at the time of the accident, there was no state ban in Texas on texting while driving. In May 2017 the first statewide distracted-driving law in the state was passed, and it took effect in September. It prohibits all texting and "electronic messaging" while driving.

Read  How Distracted Are We? ,  Is There a Law for That? ,  How to Protect Yourself , and  Protections We Want for You  for more information.

Dangerous Choices

The latest statistics show that America's traffic deaths are rising. There are many reasons, including the fact that we're driving more miles. But some experts say that the marriage of automobiles and smartphones (with their growing menu of apps) is contributing to the danger, even for pedestrians and cyclists. Despite a decade of new laws and enforcement, and a flurry of public-safety campaigns, surveys have found that drivers still make the dangerous choice to text and drive or use their smartphones in other distracting ways.

Indeed, a nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports in October 2017 found that 41 percent of drivers with smartphones said they had used their hands to text while driving, and 8 percent admitted to watching a video on their phone while driving.

The Modisettes sued Apple, accusing the company of being at fault because it hadn't sufficiently warned people not to use its FaceTime app while driving. (The app allows video-to-video communication with another person also on an Apple smart device.) A judge threw out the case in May, ruling that the user of a smartphone is responsible for unsafe behavior, not the manufacturer. The case is on appeal.

Traffic fatalities on U.S. roads in 2016 increased to 37,461 , according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That's a 5.6 percent increase over 2015, after an 8.4 percent increase in 2014.

In 2016, 3,450 people were killed because of distracted driving, a 2.2 percent decline from 2015. Still, the number of distraction-related fatalities reported in 2016 was higher than in 2011. According to NHTSA, fatal distracted-driving crashes specifically involving cell-phone use increased to 14 percent (442) in 2015 from 12 percent (354) in 2011. And the percentage of distracted-driving-related crashes resulting in injuries that were linked to cell phones increased to 8 percent (21,000) in 2015 from 6 percent (15,000) in 2011. (A breakdown from NHTSA for 2016 isn't available yet.) Even these numbers don't fully reflect the potential scope of danger, safety advocates and the police say, because of the limits of law enforcement and the lack of adequate evidence proving that smartphone use or other distractions were the root cause of some crashes.

Distracted driving has also involved in-car infotainment systems and lower-tech driver activity, such as adjusting a radio or temperature control, talking to a passenger, or taking eyes off the road for any reason.

The automotive and tech industries are using technology designed to mitigate distracted-driving dangers. Many new vehicles have advanced safety features (often optional) such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, which are recognized for their potential to help protect drivers and passengers.

Major smartphone manufacturers, wireless providers, and smaller tech companies have created various apps and services to prevent teens and adults from using smartphones while driving. But at the moment, the adoption and use of them rely largely on users choosing to opt in.

And until cars become fully autonomous, dangers will persist from those who choose to use smartphones while driving or become distracted by onboard infotainment systems.

"Unfortunately, in the short term, we actually could see greater risks because we will have a mix of autonomous, semi-autonomous, and manually driven cars," says Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "The transition is going to be a little bit of a messy middle."

The Rise of Connected Cars

General Motors first introduced its OnStar in-car connectivity in 1996. And the company claims it became the first automaker to introduce 4G LTE wireless across its entire retail platform in 2014. Since then, Chevrolet has sold nearly 2.5 million 4G OnStar LTE-connected vehicles.

These cellular connections power onboard WiFi hot spots that can be used by up to seven digital devices in a single vehicle.

Carmakers are adding high-speed internet connections and designing more sophisticated interfaces to serve customer demand for constant connectivity. But they're also working closely with Silicon Valley to integrate smartphones more deeply into the driving experience. Almost every automaker is now building Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support into new vehicles. These systems serve up a simplified smartphone-style interface on a dashboard screen, giving drivers the apps, controls, and voice assistants they're already familiar with.

Automakers say they're doing their best to balance the desire for technology with safe design. A Ford spokeswoman said in an email response to questions that it has "prioritized voice recognition as the interface for smartphone control while driving," because research "indicates that helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road is the most important factor in minimizing distractions."

A Toyota spokesman said in an email that customers want the company to "evolve and keep up with the latest" technology. He added that Toyota considers driver distraction during product development: "As part of our basic design processes, Toyota considers how all the systems we integrate into our vehicles will be used in the driving environment, with the goals of helping to optimize interactions with the driver while avoiding distractions."

At GM, as each infotainment feature is developed, engineers test and measure driver attention using a simulator, says Mike Hichme, the company's executive director of user experience. "We measure their eye movements," he explains. "They can't have glances of longer than 2 seconds away from the road for any one task."

If the test shows that a driver is confused by touch-screen controls or voice commands, the function is locked out after a certain period. Streaming video, game apps, web browsing, and social media messaging are prohibited on the touch screen, Hichme says.

Distracted driving victims

The Human Toll

In September 2016, Mitchel Kiefer, an 18-year-old freshman at Michigan State University, died on a highway after an inattentive driver slammed into his car when traffic slowed. According to the police reports, the force of the collision pushed Kiefer's vehicle across a median and into oncoming traffic. His was the only fatality in the multivehicle wreck.

Twenty-one-year-old Kelley Renee Lange of Kalamazoo eventually pleaded guilty to a moving violation, receiving probation, community service, and a fine. According to an Ingham County assistant prosecutor, information from the event data recorder, or black box, in Lange's 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix indicated she was traveling at 81 mph with the accelerator depressed at impact. The prosecutor says the data suggested Lange may have been distracted. But because there was no evidence of her texting or using her phone at the time of the incident, prosecutors didn't have probable cause to secure a search warrant for her phone. It's unclear why she failed to slow down. Her lawyer didn't respond to requests for an interview.

It can be difficult to assess the true impact of driver distraction. Black-box data can provide clues, but it's rare for a witness or law-enforcement officer to directly see what's going on inside a vehicle. Even when there's evidence of distraction, it's not always documented. In a 2017 report, "Undercounted Is Underinvested: How Incomplete Crash Reports Impact Efforts to Save Lives," the National Safety Council found that many state crash-report forms don't have a field or code for many forms of distraction.

Kiefer's parents, Steve and Paula, his two sisters, and his brother decided to establish the Mitchel Kiefer Foundation, which is dedicated to battling driver distraction. The family works to get out the message that no one should text and drive or look away from the road for too long.

"What I've always said to the kids is that you can let a tragic event in your life basically destroy your life or you can use it to repurpose your life," Steve Kiefer says in a video. "We've all agreed we're going to try and use it to repurpose our lives and make something good of it, and hopefully save some other lives."

Kiefer speaks to groups about his son and the dangers of distraction. It helps that he's a senior vice president at General Motors, which lends credibility to the foundation's mission.

High-Tech Solutions

Some in the telecommunications industry have been addressing the issue of driver distraction. A range of small tech companies offer apps that can block text messages, email, social media sites, and even phone calls while drivers are underway.

Joe Breaux, chief technology officer of CellControl, which offers a combination of hardware and software that can block and monitor smartphone use inside a car, says his company follows the development guidelines of major smartphone manufacturers. "In many ways, they're partners, but what they're providing is different from what we're providing," he explains. "They are providing connectivity. The last thing they want to do is limit the use of their products or services."

Major wireless providers such as AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon also offer apps that can block text messages. This type of technology is often aimed at parents of teen drivers and employers.

Smartphone manufacturers are also using technology to address the problem. Samsung has an app called In-Traffic Reply that sends preset responses to messages received while the user is in motion. Apple's new iOS 11 system, introduced last fall, includes an optional Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that mutes incoming phone calls and text messages. There's an option to automatically send a message that you're driving and will respond later.

But none of this technology can stop a driver who doesn't want to use it. "All these systems are voluntary," says David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in West Hartford, Conn., and an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. "Ultimately, if it's voluntary it's not going to be useful. I want the phone completely disabled. I don't trust myself to not use it, and nobody else should either."

Greenfield stresses that smartphones can be habit-forming. "The addictive nature of the phone does not stop when we enter the vehicle," he says. "The more complex cars have become, the greater the distraction becomes."

In July 2017 Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York directed his Traffic Safety Committee to examine the viability of the "textalyzer," technology that can determine whether a cell phone was used right before a crash.

In 2012 NHTSA started rolling out its recommended guidelines aimed at reducing driver distraction. The first phase offered guidelines for automakers to design infotainment systems that minimize distraction, such as limiting the time a driver has to look away from the road.

The next phase, introduced in 2016, encouraged smartphone manufacturers to design features such as pairing and driver mode that can link phones to a vehicle's infotainment system. NHTSA's next phase is to address voice-activated controls and potential ways to reduce cognitive distraction, when a driver's mind is distracted from focusing on the road.

Some people hope that fully autonomous vehicles will solve the problem one day. But 3,400 people dying every year from distracted driving is too high a price to wait for better technology.

Who's Responsible?

Several product liability lawsuits aimed at Apple have resulted in rulings that the company wasn't to blame for unsafe driver behavior. At least two focused on Apple's patent for technology that can "lock out" or prevent the operation of smartphone functions while the user is driving. In one complaint, the family of three crash victims claimed that Apple's failure to develop the lockout idea was proof the company ignored the dangers of distracted driving and was liable.

According to that lawsuit, Ashley Kubiak was heading down a Texas highway in a Dodge Ram pickup as she allegedly checked messages on her iPhone. She rear-ended a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe, forcing it across the lane, where it was struck by a Ford F-250 pickup traveling in the opposite direction. The lawsuit said the accident killed the Tahoe driver and a passenger, and left a young child paralyzed. The court papers went on to say that Kubiak was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.

In August, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III dismissed the case. The decisive passage from his ruling read: "When a driver negligently operates her vehicle because she is engaging in compulsive or addictive behaviors such as eating food, drinking alcohol, or smoking tobacco, it is the driver's negligence in engaging in those activities that causes any resulting injuries, not the cook's, distiller's, or tobacconist's supposed negligence in making their products so enticing."

In another case, Julio Ceja of Costa Mesa, Calif., filed a class-action complaint in California. Like the Texas case, it focused on Apple's failure to install a lockout device. When asked about the case, an Apple spokesman told CR: "We discourage anyone from allowing their iPhone to distract them by typing, reading, or interacting with the display while driving."

Facing the Human Factor

Hands-free phone operation is often touted by policymakers and others as the best available solution. Voice-activated infotainment, navigation, and other features are also widely available in later model vehicles.

Joel Feldman, a Philadelphia attorney whose 21-year-old daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, says he prefers that no one use a phone while driving. "But if I could snap my fingers today and compel that the only thing we could do with a phone in a car is talk hands-free, I'd take it in a second," he told CR. "I think about the people in these companies. Do they really want their children to use these products in this way?"

Still, David Strayer, a professor of cognition and neural science at the University of Utah, has researched hands-free systems and found they can be as dangerous as handheld smartphones because the brain can still be distracted from driving. He also says that some infotainment systems are more distracting than others, and supports clear regulatory guidelines.

"Texting and social media access are migrating to the car," Strayer says. "In some cases, in-vehicle systems are locking out social media for drivers and in others it is not. It's all over the map."

New laws, stepped-up enforcement, safety campaigns, and special apps might be making a gradual difference. But many safety advocates, including David Friedman of Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, think that progress has been mixed.

"Everyone needs to shift into a higher gear on the issue of driver distraction," Friedman says. "The Transportation Department should finalize distraction guidelines for devices such as smartphones, and the tech industry should support the DOT's efforts. Automakers and the government should accelerate the rollout of effective driver-monitoring systems of other technologies that can help ensure that drivers pay attention to the road."

Survey: How Distracted Are We?

Distracted driving is dangerous in traffic

Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative phone survey to assess distracted-driver behavior and opinions about texting while driving. In the survey of 622 licensed drivers who own a smartphone, 52 percent admitted to engaging in distracting activities while driving.

What Are the Distractions? 41% use hands to send a text. 37% use hands to play music on a smartphone. 20% use hands to access a web browser or to compose, send, or read email. 8% watch videos on their phone while driving.

Who's the Most Distracted? Men are more likely than women to engage in distracting behavior; more than twice as many men watched a video. Millennials (18 to 36) and Gen Xers (37 to 52) were more likely than baby boomers to engage in distracting behavior.

When Is Texting Acceptable? 61% say only if they have a hands-free, voice-activated option. 34% say if it's an emergency. 24% say never.

Should Texting Be Prohibited? 88% say they favor states having restrictions on texting while driving.

Of those: 83% support a "total ban on texting while driving." 66% support a "requirement that all drivers use a message that automatically responds to incoming calls or texts." 36% support a "ban on texting while driving only for novice drivers." 30% support a "ban on incoming texts or calls if a smartphone is present in a moving car."

Who Should Do the Restricting? 100% support restrictions. 94% say the driver. 50% say the government.

How to Protect Yourself

Smart phones can be distracting

Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at CR's Auto Test Center, offers these tips.

How to Protect Yourself From Yourself These common-sense habits should become as automatic as putting on your seat belt: • Once in your car, put your phone out of sight and out of reach so you're not tempted to use it. If you need to use a navigation app, use a dash mount so you don't have to take your hands off the steering wheel. • Take advantage of the in-car system if you have one. Most new cars offer voice commands for paired phones as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay interfaces that resemble your phone's screen. • Drop the earbuds. Some drivers use them to answer calls in cars that lack Bluetooth or for listening to music. That's not safe. • If you must regularly answer phone calls, invest in an aftermarket Bluetooth system. You can stay hands-free and keep your ears open. There are many options on Amazon.

How to Protect Yourself From Others Watch for erratic or inappropriate driving, and give those cars a wide berth. That includes: • A car that's veering from edge to edge inside a lane. • A car that's missing traffic cues, such as failing to accelerate when a light turns green, slows and speeds up in lane without logic, or rides the brakes. • A driver whose head is facing down toward his lap or the seat.

Is There a Law for That?

Police car light

Many states have texting bans and other laws to combat distracted driving.

Text messaging: Forty-seven states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban texting behind the wheel, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Of the three states without a complete driver ban, two prohibit texting by inexperienced drivers. Montana is the only state without any ban on the books, the GHSA reports.

Handheld cell-phone use: Fifteen states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban handheld mobile phone use while driving. No state bans all cell-phone use for all drivers, but 38 states and Washington, D.C., ban cell-phone use by inexperienced drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers, according to a GHSA analysis.

Does enforcement make a difference? The police conducted high-visibility enforcement campaigns in Syracuse, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., in 2010 and 2011. These efforts were paid for, in part, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The police in Syracuse used roving patrols to spot offenders, and Hartford police used a spotter technique with two patrol cars working together. The percentage of drivers observed to be texting or dialing in Hartford fell to 1.1 percent from 3.9 percent in a little more than a year. Drivers cited for texting tended to commit other violations, such as drifting across lanes or weaving, as a result of their distraction.

But the final report concluded that motorists were willing to continue texting while driving even while agreeing in surveys that the police should enforce texting restrictions.

"The laws have been successful in getting some drivers to put down their phones or switch to hands-free, but we haven't been able to find a corresponding effect in reduced crashes," said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

An unintended consequence, says David Strayer, a University of Utah professor who studies distracted driving, is that "instead of holding the phone, drivers now place it in their lap or on a seat where it can't be seen."

Protections We Want for You

Crosswalk distracted driving

Driver distraction takes more than 3,400 lives a year on U.S. roads—and requires urgent action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began rolling out driver-distraction guidelines in 2012. Consumer Reports believes industry and government should implement and build on these guidelines. Here's what that means:

Automakers Should . . .  • Not include features that encourage drivers to take their eyes off the road for any significant amount of time. • Design built-in systems that disable distracting content from infotainment systems when a vehicle is in motion. • Ensure that "pairing" capabilities are easy to use. • Implement effective driver monitoring to warn drivers when they're not paying attention. • Make safety features that mitigate crashes standard in every new car.

Tech Companies Should . . . • Incorporate easy-to-use pairing capabilities and driver mode, a simplified interface, into devices. • Disable normal use of a phone while a vehicle is in motion.

Policymakers Should . . . • Update and finalize existing guidelines based on the most recent research and technology, and set new guidelines to address "cognitive" distraction (when a driver's mind is distracted from driving). • Warn the public when apps pose special distraction risks. • Put in place strong standards to accelerate the adoption of proven active safety features, which could save lives in all crashes.

Using a Cellphone in the Car

The best bet is to not use your phone when operating a car—but smartphone navigation and Bluetooth is a common feature nowadays. On the ' Consumer 101 ' TV show, CR expert Jen Stockburger shows host Jack Rico and friends how to stay safe while on the road.

Editor's Note:  This article also appeared in the January 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

More From Consumer Reports

dangers of distracted driving essay

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Distracted Driving

  • Types of Distraction
  • How big is the problem?
  • Who is most at risk for distracted driving?
  • How to Prevent Distracted Driving
  • What States are Doing to Prevent Distracted Driving
  • What the Federal Government is Doing to Prevent Distracted Driving
  • Distracted Driving Fact Sheet
  • Additional Resources

Nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver . 1

Distracted driving is doing another activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.

Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction. Sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating while driving are a few examples of distracted driving. Any of these distractions can endanger you, your passengers, and others on the road.

There are three main types of distraction: 2

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off driving

dangers of distracted driving essay

  • In the United States, over 3,100 people were killed and about 424,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019. 1
  • About 1 in 5 of the people who died in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019 were not in vehicles―they were walking, riding their bikes, or otherwise outside a vehicle. 1

dangers of distracted driving essay

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010-2013 , 2014–2018  and 2019

You can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  (NHTSA) website for more information on how data on motor vehicle crash deaths are collected and the limitations of distracted driving data.

Young adult and teen drivers

  • A higher percentage of drivers ages 15–20 were distracted than drivers age 21 and older.
  • 39% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days texted or emailed while driving on at least one of those days. 4
  • Texting or emailing while driving was more common among older students than younger students (see figure below) and more common among White students (44%) than Black (30%) or Hispanic students (35%). 4
  • Texting or emailing while driving was as common among students whose grades were mostly As or Bs as among students with mostly Cs, Ds, or Fs. 4
  • more likely to not always wear a seat belt;
  • more likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking alcohol; and
  • more likely to drive after drinking alcohol. 4

dangers of distracted driving essay

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , 2019

dangers of distracted driving essay

Source : Transportation Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — Youth Risk Behavior Survey, United States, 2019

What drivers can do

  • Do not multitask while driving. Whether it’s adjusting your mirrors, selecting music, eating, making a phone call, or reading a text or email―do it before or after your trip, not during.
  • You can use apps to help you avoid cell phone use while driving. Consider trying an app to reduce distractions while driving.

What passengers can do

  • Speak up if you are a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Ask the driver to focus on driving.
  • Reduce distractions for the driver by assisting with navigation or other tasks.

What parents can do 5

  • Remind them driving is a skill that requires the driver’s full attention.
  • Emphasize that texts and phone calls can wait until arriving at a destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver licensing system and enforce its guidelines for your teen.
  • Know your state’s laws on distracted driving . Many states have novice driver provisions in their distracted driving laws. Talk with your teen about the consequences of distracted driving and make yourself and your teen aware of your state’s penalties for talking or texting while driving.
  • Set consequences for distracted driving. Fill out CDC’s Parent-Teen Driving Agreement [PDF – 465 KB] together to begin a safe driving discussion and set your family’s rules of the road. Your family’s rules of the road can be stricter than your state’s law. You can also use these simple and effective ways to get involved with your teen’s driving: Parents Are the Key.
  • Set an example by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while driving.
  • Learn more: visit NHTSA’s website on safe teen driving .
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tracks cell phone use laws and young passenger restrictions by state.
  • 4.1% to 2.7% in the Sacramento Valley Region in California, 6
  • 6.8% to 2.9% in Hartford, Connecticut, 7
  • 4.5% to 3.0% in the state of Delaware, 6 and
  • 3.7% to 2.5% in Syracuse, New York. 7
  • Graduated driver licensing (GDL) is a system which helps new drivers gain experience under low-risk conditions by granting driving privileges in stages. Comprehensive GDL systems include five components 8- 9 , one of which addresses distracted driving: the young passenger restriction. 10 CDC’s GDL Planning Guide [PDF – 3 MB]  can assist states in assessing, developing, and implementing actionable plans to strengthen their GDL systems.
  • Some states have installed rumble strips on highways to alert drowsy, distracted, or otherwise inattentive drivers that they are about to go off the road. These rumble strips are effective at reducing certain types of crashes. 10
  • CDC has developed the  Parents Are the Key campaign, which helps parents, pediatricians, and communities help keep teen drivers safe on the road.
  • In 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the National Roadway Safety Strategy [PDF – 42 pages] . Part of the strategy includes supporting vehicle technology systems that detect distracted driving.
  • In 2021, Congress provided resources to add distracted driving awareness as part of driver’s license exams as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law [PDF – 1039 pages] .
  • In 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving government-owned vehicles or when driving privately owned vehicles on official government business.
  • In 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration banned cell phone and electronic device use for railroad operating employees on the job.
  • In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.
  • In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials.
  • NHTSA has several campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, including their annual “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign, which began in April 2014.
  • NHTSA has issued voluntary guidelines to promote safety by discouraging the introduction of both original, in-vehicle [PDF – 177 pages] and portable/aftermarket [PDF – 96 pages]  electronic devices in vehicles.

dangers of distracted driving essay

This fact sheet provides an overview of distracted driving and promising strategies that are being used to address distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Summary Fact Sheet [PDF – 660 KB]

  • CDC MMWR – Transportation Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — Youth Risk Behavior Survey, United States, 2019
  • CDC MMWR – Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011
  • NHTSA – Distracted Driving
  • Governors Highway Safety Association – Distracted Driving
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Distracted Driving
  • World Health Organization – Mobile Phone Use: A Growing Problem of Driver Distraction
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – Distracted Driving at Work
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Campaign Materials
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2021).  Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Distracted Driving 2019 (DOT HS 813 111) . Department of Transportation, Washington, DC: NHTSA. Accessed 8 February 2022.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2010). Overview of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Driver Distraction Program (DOT HS 811 299) [PDF – 36 pages] . U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC. Accessed 8 February 2022.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System . Accessed 8 February 2022.
  • Yellman, M.A., Bryan, L., Sauber-Schatz, E.K., Brener, N. (2020). Transportation Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — Youth Risk Behavior Survey, United States, 2019 .  MMWR Suppl, 69(Suppl-1),77–83.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Teen Driving . Accessed 8 February 2022.
  • Chaudhary, N.K., Connolly, J., Tison, J., Solomon, M., & Elliott, K. (2015). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Evaluation of the NHTSA Distracted Driving High-Visibility Enforcement Demonstration Projects in California and Delaware [PDF – 72 pages] (DOT HS 812 108) . U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.
  • Chaudhary, N.K., Casanova-Powell, T.D., Cosgrove, L., Reagan, I., & Williams, A. (2012). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Evaluation of NHTSA Distracted Driving Demonstration Projects in Connecticut and New York [PDF – 80 pages] (DOT HS 811 635) . U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Motor Vehicle Injuries . Accessed 8 February 2022.
  • Venkatraman, V., Richard, C. M., Magee, K., & Johnson, K. (2021). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasures guide for State Highway Safety Offices, 10 th edition, 2020 (Report No. DOT HS 813 097) [PDF – 641 pages] . U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.
  • Federal Highway Administration. (2011). Technical Advisory: Shoulder and Edge Line Rumble Strips (T 5040.39, Revision 1) [PDF – 9 pages] . Department of Transportation, Washington, DC: FHWA. Accessed 24 August 2020.

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July 28, 2023

Distracted Driving Is More Dangerous Than People Realize, New Research Shows

Multitasking can occupy attention longer than people anticipate  

By Tatiana Koerich Rondon & David Z. Hambrick

A person driving an automobile, one hand on the steering wheel, one hand holding up a smartphone

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In 2021 more than 3,500 drivers in the U.S. alone died in traffic accidents linked to distracted driving . Using a cell phone is the primary source of distraction , but entering navigational information, trying to eat and performing other such activities can be just as risky. A new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied suggests that distracted driving is even more unsafe than previously thought .

Multitasking has a hidden cost for drivers that past analyses have not taken into account. In two experiments, participants between the ages of 18 and 58 completed a driving-related activity while also performing a distracting task. Cognitive psychologists led by David Strayer of the University of Utah found that distraction depleted participants’ ability to pay attention to their driving for at least half a minute after the distraction ended . That extended effect implies that the number of traffic accidents caused by distracted driving could be substantially higher than current estimates indicate.

[ Read more about how the brain works to suppress distractions ]

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In the first experiment, 32 participants began with a “baseline” phase, during which the researchers asked them to use a steering wheel to position a triangle over a dot that was moving horizontally across a computer screen. This simple activity captured a key aspect of driving, steering, while keeping participants in a safe laboratory environment. Simultaneously, people had to press a button on the steering wheel with their left forefinger each time a small device attached to their left collarbone vibrated. This extra step measured how much attention participants devoted to the primary activity, driving, as opposed to the secondary activity. Those who responded relatively slowly to the vibrations were assumed to be paying more attention to tracking the dot on the screen.

After three minutes in this baseline condition, participants transitioned to an “on-task” phase. During this period, they experienced a distraction designed to simulate the attention-demanding tasks that occur when people are keeping up a cell phone conversation or sending a text while driving. The “drivers” were presented witha random number and had to count aloud backward by either ones or threes. After 20 seconds of this challenging phase, there was a 30-second recovery period in which the backward counting task stopped, and participants only performed the driving and vibration-response activity.

Compared with baseline, the distracting on-task phase did not appear to affect the participants’ performance in tracking the moving dot—but they were slower and less accurate in their response to the vibrations. This finding indicates that more of the participants’ attention was occupied when they were trying to drive and count at the same time. More surprisingly, their performance remained impaired in the recovery period, too. In other words, even though they were no longer multitasking, people were still slower and less accurate in responding to the vibrations than in the baseline phase. This residual effect of multitasking was largest at the beginning of the recovery phase but still evident at the end of the 30 seconds .

A second experiment involving 47 participants had essentially the same design as the first, except that the primary task involved a realistic driving simulator. This approach gave the researchers a chance to observe responses in more true-to-life scenarios, including driving in light and heavy traffic. In addition, the researchers used special equipment to observe their participants’ eyes. When people are cognitively busy, their pupils expand, giving researchers an indicator of attentional engagement.

Once again, the distraction involved a backward-counting task, followed by a recovery period, now extended to 45 seconds. Just as in the first experiment, the researchers found that people performed worse throughout the recovery period than in the baseline phase. The driving task was especially difficult when the simulator put drivers in heavy traffic. For example, participants had more difficulty staying centered in their lane in the challenging driving simulator. Their pupils also dilated significantly during the distracting counting task and remained so throughout most of the recovery period. In fact, participants in the most challenging simulation showed dilation throughout the 45-second period. These findings provide additional evidence for the residual effect of multitasking.

What might explain these findings? When a person performs a cognitive task, they hold information from that task in their working memory: a “mental workspace” where details can be both stored and processed. Your working memory helps you with tasks such as doing arithmetic in your head and remembering the name of someone you’ve just met. Strayer and his colleagues propose that when a task is completed, this information isn’t purged from your working memory all at once. Rather it persists for some time, creating mental clutter that may divert attention away from subsequent tasks.

This work complements a large body of evidence that shows people tend to be bad at multitasking . (In fact, people are generally worse at juggling tasks simultaneously than they believe themselves to be.) If you’ve ever been working and gotten distracted by an incoming e-mail, you may have felt a “mental fog” when you switched back to your earlier task. That experience could have occurred because your mind was still holding details from reading your inbox even as you got back to work.

The findings also mean that drivers likely underestimate the true danger of distraction. If you send a text while driving, even though you may not miss your exit (or worse), you will be at a heightened risk of doing so down the road. Similarly, sending an e-mail while sitting at a traffic light means that once the light turns green, your mind will still be occupied by that message.

The new research highlights the need to strengthen laws that curb distracted driving. Legislation should define this concept broadly enough to include not only cell phone use but also other activities that can divert a driver’s attention away from the road. Of course, not all distractions come from technology, which is why all passengers should be aware of how hazardous distracting the person at the wheel can be. Parents, for instance, can set ground rules for kids in the car.

Finally, the findings point to a simple step that all drivers can take to make the roads safer. The next time you get behind the wheel, minimize the distraction you will experience by putting your cell phone in airplane mode, entering navigation information and finishing your lunch before you start the engine.

Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science or psychology? And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about for Mind Matters? Please send suggestions to  Scientific American’s  Mind Matters editor Daisy Yuhas at  [email protected] .

This is an opinion and analysis article, and the views expressed by the author or authors are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Even hands-free , phones and their apps cause dangerously distracted driving

dangers of distracted driving essay

Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, UMass Amherst

Disclosure statement

Shannon Roberts receives funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center, and US Department of Transportation. She has received funding from GM in past years.

UMass Amherst provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

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Do you ever use your cellphone while driving? Don’t feel too guilty about saying yes – nearly 60% of drivers admit to using their phone in hands-free mode while driving.

But don’t become complacent either. Using your cellphone in hands-free mode while driving is not a perfectly safe activity, despite the impression you might be getting from laws, marketing messages and the behavior of people around you.

Fatal crashes caused by driver distraction have not gone down significantly over time: Distraction caused 14% of fatal crashes in 2017 and 13% of fatal crashes in 2021. Given that these numbers are calculated based on police-reported crashes, many experts believe the actual number of crashes caused by driver distraction is much higher. For example, real-world crash data from teens indicates that 58% of their crashes are due to driver distraction .

I am a human factors engineer who studies how drivers interact with technology . I see a gap between what people are told and what people should do when it comes to using your cellphone behind the wheel.

Hands-free calling

Most U.S. states ban hand-held cellphone use while driving but allow hands-free devices . However, hands-free devices are still distracting. Talking on a hands-free phone and driving is multitasking, and humans are not good at doing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time.

For example, having a phone conversation in hands-free mode while driving causes you to stop looking out for hazards on the road and gets you into more close calls where you slam on the brakes than if you were not on the phone.

These detrimental effects last even after you end your call. There is a hangover effect: You can remain mentally distracted nearly 27 seconds after you finish using your cellphone . At 65 miles per hour, you’ve traveled nearly half a mile in 27 seconds.

Third-party apps

Third-party apps that connect your smartphone to your car’s interface, such ass Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, encourage you to use your phone in hands-free mode while driving. You can control things like music, navigation, text messaging and phone calls using voice commands and the car’s interface. IPhone users can connect their phones to more than 800 car models and Android phone users more than 500 models .

But is using these third-party apps while driving safe? Fifty-three percent of people say that if carmakers put the technology in vehicles, they must be safe . Though these third-party apps make cellphone use hands-free, they unintentionally cause you to look away from the road for dangerous amounts of time and they slow your reaction time .

Driving automation and distraction

Recent advances in technology have made driving a safer activity. Systems such as Cadillac Super Cruise and Tesla Autopilot control your steering and acceleration in limited situations, but they don’t mean you can text at will. Though it’s often lost in the marketing and enthusiasm for the systems, you are still required to pay attention to the road when you’re using them.

Research has shown that drivers using Level 2 automation, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane centering, are more likely to take their eyes off the road . Research also shows that watching a video or doing anything distracting while using these systems is unsafe – you stop looking at the road , and when you need to respond, it takes more time .

Some systems work to keep you focused on driving by monitoring your eye or head position to make sure you’re looking straight ahead. If your eyes are off the road for more than a few seconds, the systems alert you to bring your attention back to driving. This makes it difficult to get distracted by your phone.

Distracted driving awareness

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month . Distracted driving – in hands-free mode, using a third-party app or when using driving automation – still claims thousands of lives each year in the U.S. Despite continual advances in vehicle technology, cellphone use while driving is likely to remain a challenging problem for the foreseeable future.

To discourage distracted driving, it’s important to look back to see what’s worked in the past to keep roads safe. Modifying the culture around distracted driving as well as comprehensive education, training and media campaigns, similar to “ Click It or Ticket ” to encourage seat belt use, are good examples of what works. To that end, on April 1, 2024, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the “ Put the Phone Away or Pay ” campaign to discourage distracted driving.

And for all of those who drive with children in the car, be sure to model safe behavior – they are watching and learning from you.

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The Dangers of Using Cell Phone While Driving Essay

Cellular phones are currently very popular, with over 137 million subscribers in the United States by late 2002 (Strayer, Drews and Johnston 23). The authors further note the subsequent increase in the count of persons conversing on cell phones while driving unaware of the risks they pose to themselves and their passengers. In fact, Laberge-Nadeau (5) asserts that an estimated 85% of the cell phone possessor utilizes their hand set while driving.

According tot the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)(1), in 2009, a total of 5,474 people died on the United States roadways and approximately extra 448,000 were afflicted with injuries resulting from motor vehicles crashes that were an attribute of distracted driving. 995 of deaths associated with distracted-driving–related accidents were attributing to cell phone use; representing 18% of the overall fatalities in distraction-related accidents.

Arguably, these cases are avoidable because they directly involve indiscipline by individuals. Live is precious thing which cannot be replaced, such that anybody who acts in a way that he or she put a live or lives at risk does not deserve the tiniest empathy with regard to penalties associated with violation of the relevant legislation (Laberge-Nadeau para. 5).

Because, such ignorance has cost many lives very heavy penalties should be placed by the government to address cases of violation of this fundamental human rights. The thought of such penalties should serve to dissuade individuals from using their phones while driving.

From a personal perspective, a live is a phenomenon that cannot be replaced once it is lost. Similarly injuries cannot be reversed once they occur. Thus why should a live be lost, or a body function be lost because of a mere device. This is not comprehensible in the light of the sociological and psychological loses suffered by the casualty or their families or the people associated with them.

Think of the people who have been rendered psychotic because of the loss of loved ones, and of the children that have been rendered miserable because their bread winner have been killed in a crash associated with cell phone destruction. This in turn has put strain on the government health and social budget in attempt to provide for such victims.

Surely, this behavior and subsequent death and injuries, can be avoided. It takes just the tiniest exertion of discipline and concern for fellow humans. Some simple measures like stopping and parking the car appropriately off the road to make or receive the call can contribute enormously in curbing such unnecessary costly deaths.

Alternatively, the driver can set the cell phone on voice mail and postpone the call until she arrives at a safe place. Such and more simple measures is all that may take to keep all and sundry safe on the road.

Nevertheless, this trend has raised safety concerns due to the high number of accidents attributed to the use of cell phones while driving. Because of such concerns, various legislative measures have been developed to curb cell phone use on the road (Strayer, Drews and Johnston 23).

Often, the legislation on cell phones use and driving considers peripheral elements including holding the phone while talking or dialing. Indeed, in 2001, the state of New York enacted a law prohibiting the use of handled phones when driving, though it permitted the use of handsfree phones (Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2001, section 1225c State of New York).

Works Cited

Laberge-Nadeau, Claire, Linking data from different sources to estimate the risk of a collision when using a cell phone while driving. Toronto, Canada, 2005. Web.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts: Distracted Driving 2009 . United States Department of Transportation. 2010. Web.

Strayer, David L., Drews, Frank A., & Johnston, William A. Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 9.1(2003): 23–32. American Psychological Association,Inc. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2024, February 2). The Dangers of Using Cell Phone While Driving.

"The Dangers of Using Cell Phone While Driving." IvyPanda , 2 Feb. 2024,

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Texting While Driving Essay Examples

Why is texting while driving dangerous.

Put simply, texting and driving are dangerous because texting diverts your attention away from the road. Although many people argue that texting only takes your eyes off the road for a few seconds, what they don’t realize is that in that few seconds, something unexpected could happen. Additionally, if you’re traveling at high rates of speed, you can travel significant distances in just a few seconds. Those few seconds that you are on your phone could be used to hit the breaks or swerve out of the way of a quickly approaching article. If your eyes are on your phone instead of on the road, you lose valuable time that could have been used to mitigate an accident.

dangers of distracted driving essay

How do you Break the Habit of Texting While Driving?

One of the best ways to stop yourself from texting while driving is to create a habit that will keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. For many people who rely on their phones for so much, this may seem like a difficult task. However, if you think about it, there are several things that you do habitually when driving a car that you don’t even think about, such as putting on a seatbelt or locking your car after you park it. The key is to incorporate putting your phone away as part of those routines. In that way, you’re not so much breaking the habit of texting and driving, but instead, creating new habits that prevent you from using your phone while in the car.

Making a new habit can be challenging. The key is to stay consistent and continually remind yourself of your goal until it becomes second nature. Try attaching a sticky note to the wheel of your car to remind yourself to not text and drive. Another good trick is to make a pact with a friend to help keep each other accountable. It is important to stick with your habit, not give in to temptation and always keep in the back of your mind the benefits of staying focused on the road and not driving while distracted.

The most ideal habit you can build is to simply turn your phone off when you get in the car. That way there is never any sort of distraction when you’re in the car – any notifications, no browsing social media, and no distractions while you try to pick the next song to listen to. However, this might not always be an option when you need to use your GPS or if you use your phone for entertainment purposes while driving. Fortunately, there are other solutions. You can use an app while you drive (we make some suggestions for good apps below!) and simply make a habit of activating the app before you hit the road. If you often drive with others in the car, another good option is to hand your phone to another passenger to hold onto until you reach your destination. If instead you typically drive alone, you can always close up your phone in the glove compartment, your purse, in the center storage console under your armrest or in any other place where you cannot reach it. That way, you can have your phone connected to the vehicle for entertainment purposes but will avoid texting and driving.

Can you go to Jail for Texting While Driving?

In Pennsylvania, drivers are prohibited from driving and texting. If you are pulled over texting and driving, you will be issued a fine. However, if you are texting and driving and you cause an accident, there may be criminal consequences for those actions that could result in jail time. The more severe the accident, the more jail time you can face. For example, if you cause a fatality by texting and driving, you may face up to five years in jail.

How many People are Killed by Texting While Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2017, over 3,000 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving. In Pennsylvania alone, a study estimated that in 2015, distracted driving caused nearly 15-thousand car crashes and at least 66 deaths.

Apps That Help to Prevent Texting While Driving

Nowadays, there are many apps available to drivers to deter them from texting while driving. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Drive Safe & Save– Designed by State Farm Auto Insurance, this app tracks your driving habits every time you get behind the wheel. Not only does it track when you’re using your phone while in the car, but also identifies when you’re speeding, breaking too hard or accelerating too quickly. The app will also provide tips on how to improve your driving habits. If you’re a State Farm customer, you can send your driving data to them and receive discounts for good driving on your monthly insurance bill too!
  • LifeSaver – This app was designed for insurance companies and large trucking fleet – but is available for families too! For parents who are concerned about their children texting and driving, the app blocks the child’s phone while driving and alerts the parents when they have safely arrived at their destination. The app works quietly in the background when you start driving to block mobile distractions but provides options to unlock for emergency situations. It also provides reports on how safely family members are driving and parents can also unlock a reward system to incentivize good driving habits.
  • AT&T DriveMode– Similarly, this app turns on when it senses that the phone is moving more than 15 miles per hour. Once activated, the app silences all incoming notifications, and will automatically respond to the caller or texter with a text stating that the person they are attempting to contact is currently driving. Parents are also alerted when the app is turned off, so you can help ensure your child is always safe.
  • – This app has to be activated each time you get in the car. However, once it’s turned on, this app will read aloud each text message you receive. It will also automatically reply to the sender that you are currently driving.

Check your Smart Phone – Many smartphones have “Do Not Disturb” or Drive Mode settings that you can turn on when getting behind the wheel.

Considering the importance of this matter and increase awareness to the next generation, we had organized the “Texting and Driving Essay” contest on for students. We are very happy to find that we got many great articles which show our next generation is pretty aware of this matter. The following four Texting and Driving Essay essays are the best entries:

Texting and Driving Essay: Statistics on texting and using your phone while driving and ideas to break those habits

By Leticia Pérez Zamor

Every day in the United States around one out of ten people are killed by distracted drivers, and around 1500 are injured in some way in crashes by these irresponsible, distracted drivers. One of the most dangerous, distracting activities that many people do is texting while driving. It is extremely dangerous because people who do this are putting more attention in texting, and they take their eyes off the road while they are driving, which increases the chance that the driver can lose the control of the vehicle, and could cause a crash or even in a worst-case could kill other people. When a person is texting, she/he is thinking about other things besides concentrating on driving. This is very dangerous because it could make the driver lose control of the car and slow her/his brain’s reaction time in case of a potential accident.

The statistics are very sad because according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Additionally, a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash, or almost crash, as those who are focused on the road. These statistics are reaching higher numbers because people are using their cell phones more and more, especially adolescents.

For this reason, it is very important that we find some ideas to break off this bad habit of texting while driving. I think that one of the easiest and best ways to break this habit is simply to turn off your phone. In this case, the driver wouldn’t be distracted by the ringing or buzzing of the phone, and it wouldn’t tempt the driver to text while driving. Another way to break this habit is to download some of the new applications that can disable cell phones while people are driving. Also, there are other applications that automatically send a text to whoever is texting the driver to tell that person that she/he is driving and that the text will be answered later. There are a great variety of applications to choose I think that we can use these to help us with the problem of texting while we are driving. Additionally, if a driver is waiting for an important call or text and has company in the car, the phone can be given to a passenger to check it out. Also, there are some programs that are helping to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. In these anti-texting programs, people can drive in a simulated situation, where they are driving but also texting, and can see how many accidents are caused by this problem.

Something very important is that many of the states have started to pass some laws that order drivers to stop texting while driving. However, we need to be sincere: none of these laws will be effective if we as a society don’t understand that texting while driving could have terrible consequences, not only for us as drivers but also for other innocent people. I don’t think that answering texts is more important than the lives of other people; texting can wait until drivers arrive at their destination.

The Dangers of Texting While Driving Essay

By LoryYau, St. Johns University

With the advanced technology in today’s world, people are very connected to each other and are constantly on their phone texting friends, going on social media, or using the phone to pass time. However, this also includes texting back a friend while driving. As simple as it might seems, texting and driving is very dangerous and should be taken seriously. In fact, in 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones. That’s about 1.3 million crashes! Not only that but texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving while being drunk or high on marijuana. Every year almost a million people in the United States get into accidents, the majority: teens. Unfortunately, the number just keeps increasing.

Though texting and driving caused many injuries and deaths, there are still people who don’t think it’s a problem and are confident that they can use their phone and drive simultaneously. However, 34% of teens aged sixteen to seventeen spend about 10% of their driving time outside of their lane.  This affects other people who are driving and can cause the deaths of innocent lives. In a 2012 Cell Phone and Driving Statistic, it is reported that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 people were injured due to distracted drivers. Furthermore, it is said that talking or listening on the phone increases the risk of crashing by 1.3 times while reaching for a device is 1.4. Dialing is 2.8 times more risk of crashing while texting is 23 more times. Additionally, talking on a cell phone and driving at the same time can make the driver’s reaction time to be as slow as that of a seventy-year-old.

To break these habits, people can either turn off their phone or put it on silent before driving. This will force them to concentrate on the road only. But if this method doesn’t work on some people, you can use S voice or Seri to command your phone to read out your messages or to reply back. This will allow your eyes to focus on the road instead of your phone. No more reaching for your phone to text “Lol” or “Lmao” and endangering your own life and many others.  Though you are still talking while driving, it still decreases your chance of crashing. An app in smartphones that works similarly to the method I described before is called Basically, it reads your text messages and emails out loud and has a customizable auto-responder. A few other apps that help prevent texting are called Safely Go and TXT ME L8R. Both apps work by either blocking the phone’s ability to text, receive and use apps or locking the phone. Then both phones automatically send a message to inform your friends or family that you are driving.  For parents, you can give your phones to your kids while you’re driving. You won’t be able to get them back when they’re too busy playing Angry Bird or Cut the Rope.

To stop people from texting and driving, one of the major phone companies, AT&T, address this problem by creating AT&T’s It Can Wait to text and driving campaign to spread awareness. Many stories and documentaries are also posted online to support this campaign. You can also join millions of others who have signed the pledge to never text and drive and to instead take action to educate others about the dangers of it. If you still believe you can get home safely by texting and driving, AT&T’s simulator will prove you wrong. It gives you a real-life experience of texting and driving. With this game, you’ll only find out that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Before you look at a text, remember that it is not worth dying for.

The Issue of Texting While Driving Essay

By Justin Van Nuil

It seems that everyone has a cell phone, and they cannot be separated from it. Cell phones have made a huge impact in the world, both good and bad. Most of the bad come when people, especially teens, decide to use the phone when behind the wheel of a vehicle. There are some huge statistics against texting and talking on the phone while driving, and people are trying to bring awareness to this expanding problem across the United States.

Staggering statistics are out there for everyone to see, yet we go about our lives ignoring the signs and warning against using our cell phones while driving. tells us that texting while driving increases the probability of getting in a crash twenty-three times the normal amount, and thirteen percent of the young adults, eighteen to twenty, have admitted to talking or texting before the course of the accident. This is due to the time our eyes are off the road, and our mind’s capacity to do only one task at a time. Just taking our eyes off the road for five seconds, while the car is traveling at fifty-five miles per hour, is the same as traveling a football field without noticing what is going on around us. Seeing the danger in this is very evident, especially around intersections. Taking eyes off the road through an intersection is probably the highest risk, the light could be changing causing the car in front to stop, or worse, traveling through the red light or a stop sign into flowing traffic.

Texting is a major factor when it comes to crashes and creating a hazardous situation, so preventing the usage of cell phones while driving would be a large step in limiting the number of crashes that happen in the United States. There are multiple associations that are already trying to prevent cell phone usage. Associations such as the NHTSA, the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Association, which is an organization dedicated fully to tips and facts and videos showing how dangerous it can be to use your cell phone. There are also Facebook and Twitter pages, and blogs. In addition, the driving course in Michigan has a section in the lesson on the hazards of using cell phones while driving.

dangers of distracted driving essay

These are just programs that are helping to prevent texting while driving. Easy and simple ways that everyone can do as they enter the car. Firstly, by putting the phone in the glovebox, you eliminate the temptation to reach for it and use it while your driving. If you decide not to use that method, and you have a passenger, just give the phone to them, they can rely on the information to you if it is that important. Just keeping the phone out of reach, in general, will help prevent the usage of the device.

Not only are these ways are widespread and easily accomplished, but there should also be a restriction in general for usage while driving. I know multiple states have issued laws against texting, and in some states absolute usage of the cell phone while in the driver’s seat. Although, the overall effects may not be seen in the number of accidents prevented due to these laws, having a larger discipline for doing such activities should help in dropping the number of people on their devices.

Preventing the usage of these everyday devices is very simple, yet rather difficult, and will save lives if it works out. Accidents are deadly to many people, so creating an environment for everyone is better in the long run. As a young adult, I plan to use some of these ideas and promote these websites and encourage others around me to do the same.

Why is Texting and Driving Dangerous?

By Haley Muhammad

Example of texting and driving

It has become such an issue that every time we turn on the TV all we see is that same commercial running about that girl who died because she wanted to text her friend back. Or that now in every major TV show someone always gets in a car accident because they want to text someone that they love them. It’s clear that no one has the decency to pull over to text someone back or even call them to say I will text you later because I’m driving. It’s a rising epidemic that’s destroying the generation of teenagers. I remember when technology was something beautiful because of how helpful it is but, now its become a hazard to the generation alone. Statistics have shown that “ Texting while driving has become a greater hazard than drinking while driving among teenagers who openly acknowledge sending and reading text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle,” stated by Delthia Ricks from Newsday newspaper.

Ever since the emergence of cell phones, this generation has become heavily dependent on it for every minute of every day. Cell phones and texting were created ultimately to provide communication but it has now become so much more than that. Statistics also show that “Seventy-one percent of young people say they have sent a text while driving. As a result, thousands of people die every year in crashes related to distracted driving,” ( Texting while driving has become a heavy habit for most teens and adults as well but regardless of the commercials and shows and statistics that show the results of texting while driving most people cannot kick the habit. Other statistics include, “Individuals who drive while sending or reading text messages are 23 percent more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers. A crash typically happens within an average of three seconds after a driver is distracted,” ( Overall all these statistics are saying the same thing, is that one text can wreck all.

So many lives are taken or altered because of the simple decision to send or reply to one text message. If precautions are heavily enforced before adults and teens especially enter the car, then maybe this epidemic can become obsolete. Fines are enforced but how well is the question? Phones are the biggest distraction when you enter a car, this doesn’t completely forget about alcohol or trying to change the radio station but technology has become so advanced that we have voice text and on a star. If the message is that important phones should become voice-activated and only respond to your voice so we can still pay attention to the road and send out a text without removing our hands from the wheel. Technology has also graced us with Bluetooth if you need to stay in communication just use Bluetooth and make a phone call instead which is completely easier than sending a text anyway because it’s faster and you can get responses much quicker than you could with a text message. Reality is one text or call could wreck it all.

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Prioritizing Personnel Safety: Reducing the Risk of Distracted Driving in Your Agency

April 1, 2024  by  Janine Koffel Category:  Personnel Policies

Key and keychain

Nearly 1,300 people lost their lives on Washington roads due to a distracted driver-involved crash in the last decade ( Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 2024 ). Many of these fatal crashes occurred during the workday or during the commute to or from work.

Of 11,000 respondents to a 2023 statewide traffic safety survey conducted by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), 35% indicated they sometimes or usually held and talked on their cell phone while driving. Of the 5,531 survey respondents who indicated they were employed, 46% noted they either didn’t know if there was a workplace policy about distracted driving or their employer did not have a policy ( WTSC, 2023).

Employers are uniquely positioned to reduce risks associated with distraction and driving and reinforce a traffic safety culture by adopting a focused driving policy . Public employers can actively protect their workforce from serious injuries or death caused by distracted driving, reduce the risk of crashes, and safeguard public funds. A distracted driving policy is an important component of a strong workplace safety culture and demonstrates a commitment to employee and public safety.

What is Distraction?

Distraction can be many things: from eating, drinking, personal grooming, listening to music or audiobooks, managing navigation systems, talking with passengers, and of course, hands-free, or hand-held cell phone use. There are four types of distraction:

  • Visual – anything that takes your eyes off the road, like referencing a mapping tool, reading a text message, or looking at billboards or street signs.
  • Cognitive – thinking about anything other than the complex task of driving, like daydreaming, work concerns, family or relationship matters, or school demands.
  • Manual – taking your hands from the wheel to do something else, like drinking or eating food, flossing, putting on makeup, having a pet in your lap, or typing a text message or email.
  • Auditory – noises that affect your ability to hear, which can include music, audiobooks, passenger conversations, and hands-free phone calls or virtual meetings.

Distraction is often a combination of these four types. Conducting a work phone call likely involves a greater degree of mental attention causing the driver to focus their cognitive and auditory attention to what the caller is discussing rather than observing and responding to visual cues from other drivers and road conditions. Who hasn’t eaten something while driving, dropped food on your shirt, and become completely focused on cleaning yourself up, all while driving?

The bottom line is that anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task of driving, even for a moment, is a dangerous distraction. This isn’t just a public concern, but a very real and persistent workplace safety concern as well.

What’s the Washington Law?

Hands-free use is allowable by state law; however, keep in mind the different types of distraction and weigh what is the safest policy to protect your employee’s health and safety. It’s best to select your navigation or music function before starting to drive. What is not allowed is any handheld use of a cell phone, even when stopped at a traffic signal.

Distracted driving comes in many forms, and Washington law reinforces the importance of avoiding all types of electronics use, including tablets, laptops, two-way messaging devices, electronic games, and cell phones:

  • RCW 46.71.672 – Using a Personal Electronic Device While Driving
  • RCW 46.61.673 – Dangerously Distracted Driving

What Are Distracted Consequences for Employers?

According to the National Safety Council, transportation incidents were responsible for 38% of work-related deaths and injuries between 2016 and 2022.

Vehicle crashes cost employers millions of dollars in lost productivity, liability settlements, property damages, and workers’ compensation claims ( Smith System ). The National Highway Traffic Safety Association found that crashes involving a distracted driver resulted in $98.2 billion in economic costs in 2019 .

Employers can predict their cost of crashes by using the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety calculator , but the emotional toll of serious injuries and loss of life due to a preventable crash is incalculable.

How Do Employers Reduce Risk?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health agree that the well-being of your staff is paramount, and a distracted driving policy is an essential component of your company’s safety culture.

Proactively addressing the importance of focused driving through a comprehensive policy can lead to increased productivity and improved morale among employees. When employees are engaged in policy development and feel valued and supported by their employers, they are more likely to comply with safety policies and regulations.

Consider the following about your safety culture:

  • Do your employees believe they are expected to respond to phone calls, text messages, or email as quickly as possible, even when driving?
  • What are your workplace guidelines about seat belt use or managing speed while driving?
  • Do you have a policy about safe driving?
  • Do employees feel like they need to eat lunch on-the-go instead of stopping to eat?
  • Does the culture of your organization match your policy?
  • Is your policy visible and an ‘active’ part of your organizational culture?

“Active” policies are those that show up around the workplace like reminders on virtual or hybrid meeting agendas to focus on driving, messages on fleet vehicle keychains, or the automatic use of company cell phones “Do Not Disturb” features while driving.

A Toolkit to Help

Concerned for your employees’ welfare? Interested in reducing liability and avoiding expensive productivity slowdowns or costs? Not sure where to start with developing a policy?  The Washington Traffic Safety Commission offers a complete toolkit designed to assist employers with policy development. An anonymous assessment tool to gauge employee attitudes and behaviors, resources to include employees in crafting the policy and a complete workshop are all included in the free toolkit. When employees help develop the policy, they will likely have a greater appreciation of the value of focused driving.

Visit for all the tools and to request your custom survey link to get started.

Do you already have a policy in the books, but wonder if your employees comply? Use the employer toolkit’s anonymous survey to gain insight into employee attitudes and behaviors. Your survey results may indicate the need for policy revision or supplemental training to underscore how important it is to drive focused.

The employer toolkit includes a ready-made presentation that will engage employees in practical discussions and training activities to encourage traffic safety advocacy and increased compliance with the policy.

Additionally, here are some sample policies to consider:

  • Download sample policy with definitions
  • Download sample policy with no definitions

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and a great time to highlight the increased risk of serious injuries or fatalities from driving while distracted. It’s also when law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in the nationwide Put the Phone Away or Pay  high visibility enforcement campaign to discourage distracted driving and reinforce the importance of drivers solely focusing on the complex task of driving.

Even if your employees aren’t professional drivers or don’t routinely drive as part of their workday, crashes from distracted driving can have significant workplace consequences. A strong workplace safety culture often translates into improved driving choices off the clock, too. Employees’ safe driving habits can even have a positive ripple effect on family expectations about safer driving choices, which can improve road safety for everyone.

Use these resources to take steps to protect your employees, reduce risk, and save lives:

  • National Highway Safety Association : Social Media Playbook
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health : Distracted Driving at Work
  • Network of Employers for Traffic Safety : Drive Safely Work Week Distracted Driving Module
  • University of California San Diego, Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS): Just Drive training

Technical assistance is also available by contacting Dr. Janine Koffel , WTSC Program Manager, Focused Driving Promotion, (360) 725-9871.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

Photo of Janine Koffel

About Janine Koffel

Dr. Janine M. Koffel is a career prevention scientist with a background in behavioral health promotion, community action and mobilization, youth development, and military prevention science. Janine is also a certified Prevention Specialist and has worked with non-profits, academia, the United States Marine Corps, public health agencies, and rural and urban communities.

Janine currently serves as a program manager for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission speed management, focused driving, and school zone programs.

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Traffic deaths declined in 2023, but distracted driving remains a danger

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, an inconsistently reported factor in vehicle accidents.

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Traffic deaths declined in the U.S. in 2023 by 3.6% compared with the prior year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates released April 1. With 40,990 traffic deaths, last year was the third in a row that fatalities exceeded 40,000.

NHTSA also released new data on distracted driving and launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted. Distraction-involved fatalities rose 8% from 2017 to 2021  but came down slightly in 2022  to 3,308 people, according to NHTSA data. An estimated 289,310 people were injured in distracted-driving accidents in 2022, the agency reported. Data for 2023 is not yet available. 

But no one really knows how many deaths are due to distracted driving on U.S. roads each year. NHTSA bases its information on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which comes from police reports, death certificates, coroner reports and a variety of state data. Reporting of distracted-affected crashes is inconsistent among states, leading to under- or over-reporting distracted driving as a factor in vehicle accidents, NHTSA says.

The agency’s own analysis estimated that 29% of traffic deaths and injuries are due to driver distraction. It estimated that in 2021 distracted drivers killed approximately 12,400 people — a number more than three times higher than officially reported.

“It's an epidemic of distracted driving,” said Lisa-Marie Pascuccio, senior engagement manager at Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a company that provides data on vehicle and traffic behavior. “Too many people's lives have been lost from careless use of the phone while driving.”

Pascuccio and CMT worked with the Governors Highway Safety Association on a research report, released March 28, delving into distracted driving . It calls smartphone-based distracted driving “one of the most dangerous — yet prevalent — behaviors responsible for crashes that are 100% preventable.”

Smartphone use while driving has expanded beyond phone calls to texting and other apps even as handheld mobile phone use is prohibited in 31 states and text messaging banned for all drivers in 48 states. Despite state laws that prohibit handheld phone use or texting while driving, distracted driving rose over 20% from 2020 to 2022, according to CMT. 

A CMT survey of 1,600 drivers found that 19% admitted to watching YouTube while driving and an average of 20% used the camera app and WhatsApp Messenger.

The proliferation of infotainment screens in new vehicles adds another potential distraction, safety experts say. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in-vehicle technology “can create dangerous distractions for drivers while behind the wheel.” A study by the Transport Research Laboratory in the U.K. found that drivers took their eyes off the road for up to 20 seconds when asked to use a touchscreen interface to play a music track from Spotify. At 60 mph, a vehicle would travel about a third of a mile during that time.

It also takes time for a driver to regain full attention on the road after interacting with infotainment systems. University of Utah studies in 2015 for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that it takes up to 27 seconds after using voice commands while driving, changing music settings or sending a voice-created text message.

“We now are trying to entertain the driver rather than keep the driver’s attention on the road,” said Joel Cooper, a University of Utah research assistant professor of psychology and a co-author of the studies, in the university newsletter.

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Home — Essay Samples — Law, Crime & Punishment — Cell Phones and Driving — Should Cellphones Be Banned While Driving


Should Cellphones Be Banned While Driving

  • Categories: Cell Phones and Driving Distracted Driving

About this sample


Words: 1035 |

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Words: 1035 | Pages: 2 | 6 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, the dangers of distracted driving, arguments for banning cellphones while driving, arguments against banning cellphones while driving, the case for stricter regulations, 1. road safety, 2. reduced distraction, 3. equal enforcement, 1. personal responsibility, 2. enforcement challenges, 3. technological solutions.

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Nationwide Survey Finds Distracted Driving Still an Issue

dangers of distracted driving essay

A survey of passenger car and commercial drivers finds that distracted driving is still a significant safety issue, according to a recent survey by insurance carrier, Nationwide.

The new latest driving behaviors survey revealed additional risky behaviors impacting all drivers on the road.

About one-third of commercial drivers admitted they sometimes or often feel distracted behind the wheel and this is supported by the 6 in 10 who agree that other commercial drivers are looking at their phones more often and driving faster than they did a year ago.

The survey found the top causes of distractions for commercial drivers are:

  • 55% using GPS/Nav systems
  • 36% responding to work text messages
  • 27% texting/talking on mobile phones
  • 13% checking social media apps

Commercial drivers may be feeling pressured by their employer to make tight timelines, according to Nationwidecausing potential distractions while behind the wheel.

Almost all drivers (90%) say it is dangerous to hold a phone in their hand while driving, whether to talk, text or navigate.

But drivers tend to blame others, the survey found, with 8 in 10 rating their driving as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent,’ compared to other passenger cars on the road (14%) or commercial vehicles (25%).

Most everyone (92%) surveyed agreed that driving has become more dangerous, reporting other drivers are more often looking at their phones.

“Nationwide’s telematics driving data shows that drivers take their eyes off the road at least 12 times per day. The average distraction for a driver traveling at 45MPH would cover the length of three football fields! States with hands-free laws are helping to minimize distraction, but we need all 50 states to adopt hands-free laws to continue to reduce crashes and save lives,” said Kelly Hernandez, AVP of Nationwide’s personal telematics.

Many states are exploring Hands Free legislation as a way to curb distracted driving.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents support laws or legislation in their state to prohibit drivers from holding their cell phones while talking or manually using their cell phones to text, email or look at anything on their phones while operating a motor vehicle.

Twenty-six states and Washington D.C. have hands-free laws in place, leaving 16 states with no laws prohibiting handheld cell phone use while behind the wheel, Nationwide found.

Eight states need to strengthen their laws to primary, all driver hands-free laws, the insurer added.

As an example of the benefits of hands-free legislation, Ohio passed its legislation in 2022 and saw a 16% reduction in distracted driving-related accidents in the first nine months of 2023. Over the same time period, distracted driving fatalities also declined by nearly 25%.

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NHTSA Launches Put the Phone Away or Pay Campaign; Releases 2023 Fatality Early Estimates

Projections show a seventh consecutive quarter of decline in fatalities

April 1, 2024 | Washington, DC

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration kicked off its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The newly rebranded Put the Phone Away or Pay campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences – including fines – of distracted driving. Together with Chief Robert McCullough of the Baltimore County, Maryland, Police Department, Alan Morales of Students Against Destructive Decisions, and Joel Feldman of, NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman previewed the new campaign assets at today’s campaign kickoff event.

The campaign launches as NHTSA released new 2022 distraction data and preliminary traffic fatality data for 2023 . These latest numbers underscore the toll of being distracted behind the wheel. In 2022, 3,308 people were killed and an estimated additional 289,310 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

“Distracted driving is extremely dangerous,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman said. “Distraction comes in many forms, but it is also preventable. Our rebranded campaign reminds everyone to Put the Phone Away or Pay, because distracted driving can cost you in fines – or even cost your life or the life of someone else on the road.”

People who are walking, cycling or otherwise outside a vehicle are especially vulnerable to being in danger from distracted drivers. In 2022, 621 vulnerable road users were killed in distraction-affected traffic crashes. Despite overall declines, vulnerable road user fatality rates are increasing, and distracted driving is a contributing factor to the increase in fatalities. NHTSA’s final 2022 Fatality Analysis Reporting System traffic crash data and analysis are available online.

NHTSA’s high-visibility enforcement of state distracted driving laws takes place April 4-8 and targets drivers aged 18 to 34 who, according to NHTSA data , are more likely to die in distraction-affected crashes than any other age group. The Put the Phone Away or Pay campaign is supported by a $5 million national media buy in English and Spanish on television, radio, and digital platforms. Campaign ads run from April 1-8.

NHTSA also released its latest projections for traffic fatalities in 2023 , estimating more miles driven and lower fatality rates compared to 2022. The agency estimates that 40,990 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2023, a decrease of about 3.6% as compared to 42,514 fatalities reported to have occurred in 2022. The fourth quarter of 2023 represents the seventh consecutive quarterly decline in fatalities beginning with the second quarter of 2022. The estimated fatality rate for 2023 decreased to 1.26 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the reported rate of 1.33 per 100 million VMT in 2022. Estimates also show that VMT in 2023 increased by about 67.5 billion miles, a 2.1% increase over 2022.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation published its 2024 Progress Update , a departmental update two years after the release of the original NRSS on January 27, 2022. The Department-wide adoption of the safe system approach remains the foundation of the NRSS’ implementation and is pivotal to addressing the fatality crisis on our roads. The progress report provides an update on the Department’s efforts to address serious and fatal injuries on our roadways and details the Department’s accomplishments related to addressing the NRSS actions in 2023. The most significant actions in 2023 include:

  • Awarded $1.7 billion in funding to improve roadway safety at the local, regional, and tribal levels through the Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program. Over 1,000 communities received funding, representing close to 70% of all Americans.  
  • Accelerated the deployment of new vehicle safety technologies through rulemakings for automatic emergency braking, including for pedestrians, on all new passenger vehicles, as well as heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks. 
  • Initiated an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for impaired-driving prevention technology standards to inform requirements that will deter behaviors such as alcohol-impaired driving.   
  • Updated key road safety regulations such as the new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and revised guidance to encourage states using federal-aid funds to use repaving and rehabilitation projects to improve safety for all road users.  
  • Expanded the use and support of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System by accepting data from all 50 states, two territories and the District of Columbia. 
  • More than 160 organizations have joined as Allies in Action of the NRSS, including 36 state transportation agencies and safety offices.

The progress report also identifies four new commitments to action under the NRSS in calendar year 2024 and beyond, including two actions focused on directly addressing distracted driving:

  • Revise distracted driving prevention campaign material to reflect the evolution of distracted dangers associated with handheld devices and use updated content during high-visibility enforcement activities.
  • Develop a distraction research roadmap, informed by diverse expertise and public comment, that could support future updates such as Visual-Manual Driver Distraction Guidelines for In-Vehicle Electronic Devices.  


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    The Dangers of Distracted Driving. The popularity of wireless devices has had some unintended and sometimes deadly consequences. An alarming number of traffic accidents are linked to driving while distracted, including the use of cell phones while driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. The national statistics are sobering.

  10. Essays on Distracted Driving

    Essay Title 1: The Deadly Consequences of Distraction: Understanding Distracted Driving and Its Prevention. Thesis Statement: This essay explores the dangers of distracted driving, identifies common distractions, examines their impact on road safety, and discusses preventive measures to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving. Outline:

  11. Dangers Of Distracted Driving Essay

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the age of 40 are more commonly a part of fatal accidents due to distractions (Distracted Driving 2013 2). The lack of knowledge and understanding increases the likelihood of a collision due to interferences when driving. Not only do drivers, especially inexperienced ...

  12. The Dangers of Using Cell Phone While Driving Essay

    According tot the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)(1), in 2009, a total of 5,474 people died on the United States roadways and approximately extra 448,000 were afflicted with injuries resulting from motor vehicles crashes that were an attribute of distracted driving. 995 of deaths associated with distracted-driving-related accidents were attributing to cell phone use ...

  13. Distracted Driving Essay

    Distracted Driving Essay. 1955 Words8 Pages. Anyone who drives would more than likely admit to being distracted while driving. Many forms of distraction exist while driving. The most common forms include texting while driving, focusing the mind on something else, and talking with others in the car. The distractions people take part in create ...

  14. Informative Essay On Distracted Driving

    Cell phone distraction rates are high. The National Safety Council reports that the use of phones while driving, causes 1.6 million collisions each year. ("Accident Statistics"). One of every four crashes are a consequence of cell phone usage. Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence.

  15. Persuading Against Texting and Driving

    Research consistently demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving, with studies showing that texting while driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event compared to non-distracted drivers. This alarming statistic underscores the ...

  16. Distracted Driving: A Menace on the Roads Free Essay Example

    Essay, Pages 4 (759 words) Views. 1623. Distracted driving, as the term suggests, involves operating a vehicle while being diverted from the primary task of driving. This essay explores the various aspects of distracted driving, categorizing distractions and emphasizing real-life consequences. As a pervasive issue contributing to a significant ...

  17. The Dangers of Texting While Driving

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people in the United States in 2019 alone. Texting while driving is a significant contributor to this problem, as it diverts a driver's attention from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds - equivalent to driving the length ...

  18. Distracted Driving: Eyes Off The Road

    Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,450 lives in 2016 alone. Most of all driver distraction is reported to be responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

  19. The Dangers of Distracted Driving Free Essay Example

    934. When people are driving they need to focus on the road, their life is in their hands when driving. It's a public academic almost everybody has done it while driving. I have gone to school with somebody who got into a car accident with a school bus because they were on their phone snap chatting. They were endangering the lives of himself ...

  20. Distracted Driving Statistics & Facts In 2024

    New Mexico was the most dangerous state for distracted-driving-related accidents in 2020. In total, 139 fatal crashes in the state involved inattentive drivers. These collisions accounted for 38% ...

  21. Even hands-free, phones and their apps cause dangerously distracted driving

    To that end, on April 1, 2024, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the "Put the Phone Away or Pay" campaign to discourage distracted driving.

  22. Texting While Driving Essay Examples

    The following four Texting and Driving Essay essays are the best entries: ... Also, there are some programs that are helping to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. In these anti-texting programs, people can drive in a simulated situation, where they are driving but also texting, and can see how ...

  23. Distracted Driving Essay

    There is great concern regarding the dangers of distracted driving. This is made evident by legislation that has been put in place in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (2011), nationwide, 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have enacted texting bans. Current data from the National Safety Council ...

  24. Cellphones can cause distracted driving in hands-free mode—even after

    For example, having a phone conversation in hands-free mode while driving causes you to stop looking out for hazards on the road and gets you into more close calls where you slam on the brakes ...

  25. Prioritizing Personnel Safety: Reducing the Risk of Distracted Driving

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health agree that the well-being of your staff is paramount, and a distracted driving policy is an essential component of your company's safety culture.

  26. Traffic deaths declined in 2023, but distracted driving remains a

    Listen to the article 4 min. Traffic deaths declined in the U.S. in 2023 by 3.6% compared with the prior year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates released April 1. With 40,990 traffic deaths, last year was the third in a row that fatalities exceeded 40,000. NHTSA also released new data on distracted driving ...

  27. Life Takes a Turn Every 44 Seconds on Florida's Roadways

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that causes the driver to divert their attention from driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, conversing with passengers, or adjusting the car's entertainment or navigation system. These activities can distract a ...

  28. Should Cellphones Be Banned While Driving

    As these devices have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, so too have the dangers associated with distracted driving. This essay delves into the debate surrounding whether cellphones should be banned while driving, examining the arguments for and against such measures, and ultimately, advocating for stricter regulations to enhance road safety.

  29. Nationwide Survey Finds Distracted Driving Still an Issue

    A survey of passenger car and commercial drivers finds that distracted driving is still a significant safety issue, according to a recent survey by insurance carrier, Nationwide. The new latest ...

  30. NHTSA Releases 2022 Traffic Deaths, 2023 Early Estimates

    The progress report also identifies four new commitments to action under the NRSS in calendar year 2024 and beyond, including two actions focused on directly addressing distracted driving: Revise distracted driving prevention campaign material to reflect the evolution of distracted dangers associated with handheld devices and use updated ...