I’ve been guilty of distracted driving but here are some facts and ideas on what we can do about it.
As society’s addiction to mobile devices only grows, driver attention behind the wheel has continued to wither and — unsurprisingly — the crash fatality numbers continue to pile up. Driver distraction was a contributing factor in 3,166 road deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What is surprising is that most people know it’s dangerous, but they do it anyway, says a new study from various insurance studies in surveys of 1,000s of customers, 77 percent of drivers admitted to making calls while driving, 44 percent send texts or emails, and 31 percent said they’ve had a near miss because of being distracted. However, more than half of those surveyed said they would stop driving distracted if asked by a passenger — but 19 percent said they’d still do it even if it were against the law.

What do drivers typically do if they’re not paying attention to driving? According to the results of the study, about 23 percent of drivers were engaged in one or more of these distracting activities:

1. Talking on hand-held cellphone

2. Manipulating hand-held cellphone (excludes looking at phone in mount)

3. Simply holding hand-held cellphone (i.e. not obviously manipulating or talking)

4. Wearing Bluetooth earpiece or headset with mic

5. Wearing headphones or earbuds

6. Manipulating in-vehicle system (touching radio, climate control, touchscreen display or other controls; excludes operating stalks or buttons on steering wheel)

7. Manipulating or holding mobile electronic device other than cellphone

8. Talking or singing

9. Eating or drinking

10. Smoking

11. Grooming

12. Other (reaching for object, reading, etc.)

Take the Pledge

The National Safety Council also encourages drivers to take their safe-driving pledge:

I pledge to just drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way — I will not:

  • Have a phone conversation — handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
  • Text or send Snapchats
  • Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
  • Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo or other social media
  • Check or send emails
  • Take selfies or film videos
  • Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
  • Call or message someone else when I know they are driving