The Causes and Effects of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing problems in the United States. It is starting to be considered as serious as drunk driving based on the dangerous outcomes. According to the Department of Transportation (2012), “distracted driving was a cause of roughly 450,000 accident-related injuries and nearly 5,500 fatalities in 2009 alone” (para. 1). Drivers who allow themselves to become distracted while driving are not only endangering themselves, but other innocent bystanders.
According to Esurances’ website (2013), “there are three main categories of distracted driving; cognitive, manual, and visual” (para. 1). Anything that prevents these three skills from occurring is a distraction. It does not matter whether the driver is young or old, they can still be an offender. Numerous people are common offenders of one of the three categories every time they get into the car and drive somewhere. According to the Department of Transportation (2012), “18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes” (para. 2). One in five car accidents are caused because the drivers let themselves become distracted in one of the three ways.
Cognitive or mental distractions occur when drivers’ minds are not focused on driving. According to the National Safety Council (2013), “using a cell phone, hands-free or handheld, requires the brain to multitask a process it is incapable of doing safely while driving” (para. 3). Technically, anything the driver is doing while driving, from listening to the radio or talking to a friend in the passenger seat, can be considered a cognitive distraction. In an article from Distracted Driving Lawsuits a study was conducted by The University of South Carolina (2013), “researchers found that speaking and planning to speak put far more distracting demands on the brain than listening. This is the reason why talking on a cell phone or hands-free...
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