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Of the 2.5 million traffic accidents each year, it is estimated that 1.6 million of these have a cell phone involved. Despite this shocking fact, people continue to use cell phones - whether to talk or to text - while driving. Throughout the years, a variety of issues caused distracted driving - the act of taking eyes off the road or hands off the wheel or losing focus. Read on to learn more about the various distractions and the safety innovations that are leading to improvements on the road.
In years prior to the invention of the cell phone, distracted driving was often a result of the following risky activities:
• Having a pet (not in a carrier) as a passenger
• Adjusting controls such as temperature or audio
• Eating or drinking
• Losing focus on the road due to diverting attention to an accident, a traffic stop, or construction
• Current Driving Distractions
Obviously, the biggest offender in terms of distracted driving is the cell phone. Regardless of all the evidence against it, millions still choose to use one while driving. Studies show that at any moment throughout the day, there are approximately 660,000 people using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
Besides the cell phone, there are additional distractions that can occur while driving. These activities have occurred throughout the years and still continue today. Although these distractions may not seem as alarming as texting while driving, they still reduce reaction time and focus. These include:
• Changing radio stations or adjusting the CD player
• Applying makeup or grooming
• Interacting with children/pets
• Attempting to read a map or directions
• Talking with passengers
In an effort to reduce the frightening number of accidents caused by distracted driving, vehicle manufacturers are creating safety features built into new cars. These features aim to eliminate the need to take your eyes or hands off the wheel.
One company offering innovative safety technology is Ford. The vehicle utilizes a special system, SYNC, which allows you to dial numbers and answer calls while keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. Going to a dealership like Rebel Ford is a great way to check out new safety features and technology.
All in all, it is crucial to commit 100% of your attention to driving when behind the wheel. Any distraction can have life-threatening effects.