The convenience of technology has had an unintended side effect: distracted
driving. Distracted driving is a danger to you, your passengers, and the
other drivers on the road and is the source of many accident injuries that need
emergency care in the ER. Is distracted driving putting you in danger on the roads? Here
is what you need to know.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving refers to doing other activities while driving instead
of giving your full attention to the road. Cell phones are the most obvious
modern-day distraction, but there are many other things that can also
divert your attention from driving, including eating, grooming, adjusting
your in-car sound systems, using your navigation system, and even talking
to your passengers. Things that demand your visual attention, manual manipulation,
and cognitive skills—such as texting or using in-dash radio and
navigation systems—are generally the most dangerous, but any activity
that reduces your focus on driving could lead to an accident.
How serious is distracted driving?
660,000 cars are being driven by someone using a handheld device at any given time
during daylight hours. Now consider that sending a text message causes
drivers to take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds.
If your car is going 55 miles per hour, it will travel the length of a
football field in the five seconds in which your eyes were off the road.
Young drivers are the most at risk from distracted driving. In cases of
drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 who were killed in car accidents,
10% were distracted at the time of the accident. Although people in their
20s only represent 23% of fatal crashes, 27% of that group were driving
distracted at the time of their crashes. Despite these numbers, experts
suspect that the actual numbers are even higher, since cell phone use
is underreported in accidents.
Choose Westside Regional Medical Center when you or someone you love needs
emergency care in Plantation, FL, after an accident or another traumatic
incident. We also have a dedicated pediatric ER and
freestanding emergency room in Davie. Call (954) 370-5585 to learn more about our emergency services.