The Impact of Distracted Driving

In the current issue of Security Management Magazine, an article titled Behind the Wheel Stopping Distracted Driving, author Tory Brownyard shares insights on the liability of distracted driving and steps to monitor, create strategies and maintain documentation to deter or stop distracted driving.

According to the Center for Disease Control, each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

US deaths

In 2015, 3,477 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.

In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking, texting, eating, talking to passengers in the vehicle. Oddly enough as technology advances are made to keep the vehicle safer they increase driver distraction. Lane departure warning, automatic braking, and blind spot warnings alert us to dangers and yet divert our eyes from the task of driving as we look down or around us to see what is alerting us.

To better understand the problem of driver distraction, we must convert the standard unit of miles per hour to feet per second.

When a distracted driver returns his or her eyes to the road and sees an accident producing scenario in front of him he doesn’t have an hour to react and space won’t be measured in miles. He has mere feet and seconds to make a decision to avoid the accident.

Let’s look at an all to frequent example to put distracted into perspective:

You’re driving to the local supermarket and you are driving at 40 miles per hour or approximately 60 feet per second. You receive a text message from your buddy that takes about 3 seconds to read, just as you took your eyes off the road to read the text the traffic light at the intersection, 300 feet in front of you changed from green to red. At 60 feet per second, in 3 seconds you traveled approximately 180 feet.  You look back to the road and traveled another 60 feet, you realize the light is red, you travel another 30 feet (half a second) while you move your foot from the gas to the brake pedal. At this point, you are 90 feet from the red light. If you react a little slower in moving your foot to the brake, say a full second, 60 feet instead of the 30 feet, you are now 30 feet away from the intersection.

At 30 feet away traveling 60 feet per second, you will go through the intersection. Your life and those occupants traveling through the intersection on the green would be forever changed.

For information on distracted driving go to distracteddriving.gov or go to the International Security Driver Association Dangers of Distracted Driving App available for the iPhone in the App store.

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