Distracted driving gets a lot of attention these days because of how deadly it can be. Also, it is becoming more prevalent, which is alarming. Every day on Missouri roads, people drive without paying complete attention to the roadway. Whether the distraction comes from using a cell phone, changing the radio station or eating, it is a deadly habit that must stop.
The United State Department of Transportation explains that distracted driving goes beyond using your cell phone. It is anything that takes your focus off the road. The rise in distracted driving, though, is due to more frequent cell phone use by drivers. It is difficult to understand why people do not realize how harmful it can be. The best way to demonstrate the risks is through some shocking facts.
- Teens are at high risk
Teen drivers are the most at risk for a car accident when using cell phones. They lack the skills of older drivers and often do not understand the consequences of their actions. It is illegal in Missouri for teens to text and drive. Parents need to make sure that teens understand the risks of distracted driving.
- You travel further than you think in a few seconds
If you drive at 55 miles per hour and glance at your cell phone for only five seconds, you could drive the whole length of a football field. Imagine all the things that could happen in that time and traveling that distance. That is eye-opening to imagine that a few seconds could change your life forever.
- Distracted driving kills over 3,000 a year
In 2017, there were 3,166 deaths due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is by far the most disturbing fact. Each person who died had a life and loved ones. They were either a victim of someone else’s mistake or a victim of their own mistake. Regardless, each accident was a preventable situation.
Driving while distracted is an epidemic of sorts, and it must stop. These preventable deaths and accidents must be something everyone commits to preventing.