Why Distracted Driving is Dangerous

Distracted Driving Kills and Injures

A few seconds is all it takes to crash your car due to distracted driving. It may seem innocent enough to check a text from your best friend. But five seconds can mean your life—that’s the average time your eyes are away from the road while texting. Did you know you can travel the length of a football field in that time when traveling 55 mph?

Distracted Driving Is Not Worth the Risk

By driving distracted, you put yourself and others at serious risk. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that every day in the U.S., at least nine people die and more than 1,060 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. This makes distracted driving a dangerous threat to public health.

Nearly 20 percent of all crashes in 2010 involved a distracted driver. Although 69 percent of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64 read or sent a text or email message while driving at least once in the last 30 days, younger drivers are at particularly high risk due to inexperience, increased use of electronic devices and other factors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of fatal crashes due to distracted driving. And the CDC found that nearly half of all U.S. high school students over the age of 16 text or email while they’re driving.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is caused by any activity that takes your attention off the road. Whether you take your eyes of the road or your hands off the wheel , all types of distracted driving increase your risk of car crashes, major injuries and even death.

Although it’s one of the most dangerous forms of distraction, texting and driving is not the only activity that puts you at risk. Distractions happen when you are using your cell phone hands-free, eating or reading a map. All of these activities put you and others on the road in danger.

Take a Stand Against Distracted Driving

Are you ready to stop distracted driving and make our roads safer for everyone? Despite recent legislation and corporate regulations that promote more responsible driving and aim to reduce motor vehicle crashes resulting from distraction, there’s still more we can do. That’s why the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance came together to form Decide to Drive to reduce distracted driving.

We see too many injuries and deaths caused by distracted drivers. We know that even a few seconds can make a difference in someone’s life while driving. Help us stop distractions while driving by rating and reporting drivers who are distracted and dangerous. There are other ways to get involved with Decide to Drive: enter our contests, and raise awareness on social media, or download our wreck-less checklist. Find out more by visiting our Get Involved resources.