In recent years, there has been a national focus on the dangers of distracted driving due to cell phones and the act of texting while driving. One out of every six drivers in a school zone is distracted because of a handheld device. Unfortunately, many drivers don't think about other forms of distraction, such as active conversations with passengers, grooming, preparing, eating or spilling food, reaching for something, adjusting music controls and reading while driving. Distracted driving is as dangerous as intoxicated driving.
Each year, approximately 15,500 children ages 14 and under are injured as pedestrians each year. While the number of fatalities has decreased, pedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages five to 14.
Previous research indicates that risk for a crash doubles when a driver performs moderate secondary tasks such as:
- Inserting or retrieving CDs or DVDs
- Talking or listening on handheld devices
Risk of a crash triples when a driver performs more complex tasks such as:
- Applying makeup
- Dialing a cell phone
- Reaching for a moving object
- Using a handheld device
Sources: CDC and Safe Kids USA