Every day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
- Cognitive: taking your mind off what you are doing.
Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
Fast Facts on Distracted Driving
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 416,000 people injured in 2010.
- In 2010, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.
- In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.
Faces of Distracted Driving Video
On April 27, 2009, single mom Alison Holden was driving to work when she was rear-ended at a stoplight by a driver who was sending a text message. She required extensive physical therapy, and she still feels effects from the crash today.
(Sources: CDC, U.S Department of Transportation)