Driving a car is a challenging enough task even without all the distractions in the world. Yet many motorists apparently believe they can multi-task while behind the wheel.
They are a sizeable minority. Just take a look around at all the bowed heads of drivers that go by you. No, they’re not praying, but they should be.
The odds are good that distractions will eventually catch up with these drivers, and are probably killing more than we even know. Ohio traffic statistics say there were 13,997 crashes last year that had a “reported distraction” and resulted in 51 fatal crashes.
From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatalities due to distracted drivers nearly doubled.
Many more deaths and injuries were likely due to distracted driving, including the worst and perhaps the most common form of it — texting.
Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving results in all three types of distraction.
We’ve all heard the warning: Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.
And we all know the law: Ohio bans all electronic wireless communication device use for drivers under 18, and texting while driving is illegal for all drivers as a secondary offense.
Still, drivers young and old keep doing it and some die or are seriously injured in the process. What’s even worse? They kill and injure innocent drivers and passengers.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Every month should be. Can we just focus on driving? Please.