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The Dangers of Distracted Driving


Distracted driving is a danger to you, your loved ones and other motorists. The best way to help fight distracted driving is to get educated.  

1. What is distracted driving?
Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

2. Who are the most serious offenders?
Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. But they are not alone. At any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.

Did you know…

  • 18% of injury crashes in 2010 involved reports of distracted driving.
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
  • Text messaging creates a crash risk twenty-three times worse than driving while not distracted.

3. Sending or reading one text is pretty quick, unlike a phone conversation - wouldn't that be okay?
Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction simultaneously. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded. It's extraordinarily dangerous.

4. Is it safe to use a hands-free device to talk on a cell phone while driving?
So far, the research indicates that the cognitive distraction of having a hands-free phone conversation causes drivers to miss the important visual and audio cues that would ordinarily help you avoid a crash.

No message, no phone call, nothing is worth driving while distracted. Join FDOT and its partners and make the safety pledge. Next time you’re behind the wheel, just PUT IT DOWN!

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