Distracted Driving

Despite the fact that it deadens a driver's reactions more than alcohol, and in its consequences is as destructive and devastating as drunk driving, attitudes to driving while using a hand-held mobile phone and driving under the influence could not be more different.

Calum MacDonald, The Herald

Text messaging, talking on a cell phone, putting, watching a movie, writing a grocery list, nursing a baby or putting in contact lenses: Secondary activities have become an everyday occurrence behind the wheel of American motorists. A growing shift in focus from the roadway to a multitude of other tasks impairs the ability of modern drivers, and the U.S. traffic statistics mark this drastic change.

Even though research shows that certain influences (such as drowsiness or conversation) cause greater impairment than driving drunk, over 7 million people believe that their focus is unaffected by these behaviors. (Liverpool Victoria)

Distracted driving has eclipsed drunk driving as the Number One safety concern of the driving public.

From the research that has been done, it's clear that distracted driving is definitely part of the cause in a large amount of accidents out there.

Bill L. Windsor Jr., Nationwide Mutual Insurance

Facts about Distracted Driving:

We need to go beyond the message of drinking and driving and also talk about the message of distractions.

Dr. Flaura Winston, National Teen Driver Survey

Over the past two years almost every legislature has considered or passed laws which address distracted driving. Nine states ban handheld cell phone use and a majority of state has banned texting while driving.

The New Jersey Legislature even considered a bill that would mandate the same penalties for cell phone users and drunk drivers when involved in a fatal accident. New Jersey is also the only state in the country to ban driving while fatigued.

Click here to learn what the laws are in your state.

**These distractions are benchmarked to the established relative crash risk associated with driving with a 0.08% BAC, the legal drunk driving limit in all states.