Illinois residents who are concerned about their safety and the safety of those they love when on the road should educate themselves about distracted driving. This term and concept is not new but has grown to be more prevalent in recent years. What really constitutes distracted driving? How serious of a problem is it really?
As explained by Distraction.gov, many things can be considered distracted driving. The primary criteria is that it is something that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind away from the act of driving. Things that distracted drivers visually, manually and cognitively together are the most dangerous. Texting or making social media posts while operating vehicles would be examples of these types of distractions.
Many people may think that the danger involved in any distraction is only present when the driver is engaging in the distracted behavior. This is not true. Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown that the danger persists for as long as 27 seconds after the behavior has stopped. This is called the latency period. It refers to the length of time that a person’s brain requires before it is fully re-engaged with the act of driving.
It is estimated that as many as 5,000 people die in distracted driving accidents nationwide every year. Another way to look at things and understand the true risks involved is that 16 percent of all accidents that result in deaths are believed to have been impacted by some form of distracted driving.