Technology Is Not the Only Distraction Drivers Face
When discussing distracted driving, most experts focus on the dangers of technology. However, a recent accident in New Hampshire calls attention to the fact that other things can distract drivers from the road. The Boston Channel reports a woman veered off the road into a utility pole when she was distracted from her ice cream cone. Both the driver and passenger were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening car accident injuries.
Eating, drinking, changing the radio station, checking a map or direction, disciplining children, and talking to passengers are all common distractions. Some drivers even go so far as to read the newspaper, put on make-up, or use their cars as mobile offices. All of these practices have the potential to lead to auto accidents. More than 15 Americans are killed and more than 1,200 are injured every day in crashes that involved distracted driving. Approximately 16 percent of all car crashes are tied to drivers who were not paying full attention to the road.
Despite the media focus on cell phones as the primary distraction, eating while driving may be more prevalent. According to Drivers.com, 65 percent of American drivers admit to eating while they drive, compared to 58 percent who admit to using a cell phone. In one poll, drivers were asked to rate various practices on a five point scale with one being the least dangerous and five being the most dangerous. While talking on a cell phone received a 4, eating scored a close 3.8.