We live in a powerful age of ubiquitous technology and data here in Bellingham, this wonderful City of Subdued Excitement. While it's a blessing to be able to understand more and more of our world and what we're creating in it, it's also distracting. Here are some recent statistics that opened my eyes even more to the challenges we're facing in safe driving.
First, a quick primer on the kinds of distractions we face on the road. There are three categories:
manual - taking your hands off the wheel
visual - taking your eyes off the road
cognitive - taking your mind off driving
Now let's see how many distractions in our environment are trying to steal our attention from driving:
- Children - kids are 12 times more distracting to a driver than talking on a cell phone. For tips on helping kids learn how to behave in cars, click here.
- Bicyclist - Nearly 50,000 cyclists were killed or hurt in car crashes in 2011
- Car radio - 25% of car accidents in the US are a result of driver distraction, such as changing the station.
- Pets - 84% of pet owners travel with their pets in automobiles. For tips on keeps pets safe in cars, click here.
and the most well-know of offenders:
- Cell phones - 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving at any given moment during the day
- Texting - drivers who text while driving are 25 times more likely to be in or near a crash. What's scarier, is based on a recent survey, half of teens use their phones to talk and text while driving. More education and a sea change in behavior is needed. That's why I'm promoting a contest to get teens to think about safe driving and win money doing so.
For a great visual on these facts, plus tips on safe driving, click here.
We at Bill Coats Law are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. The brain is simply not designed to multi-task, and driving plus any task that takes hands, mind, or eyes away from it are dangerous. It results in inattention blindness, and everybody knows the words blindness and driving don't go well together. If you've been injured in an accident where someone was driving unsafely, don't hesitate to call us and set up a time to talk about your case for free.