Most drivers are aware that using a cellphone while driving can be dangerous.
- Answering, reaching for or dialing a cellphone nearly triples the risk of a crash or near crash, compared with other tasks drivers perform, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- The percentage of drivers texting or visibly manipulating hand-held devices increased from 1.7% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2014, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called a statistically significant increase.
- Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, according to Distraction.gov, a U.S. government website.
But when you’re at the wheel, your phone isn’t the only distraction at arm’s length. Other problematic behaviors include eating, smoking and fiddling with the GPS, sound or climate-control systems. The National Safety Council reports that 8 of every 10 drivers believe using hands-free devices while driving is safe, but more than 30 studies show otherwise, because drivers’ brains can be distracted in a number of ways.
Take the pledge to never text and drive.
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