Today, as part of National Distracted Driving Month, American Trucking Associations is urging motorists to put their cell phones away and focus on safe driving while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,100 people were killed and another 424,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in 2013.
Here are six things you need to know about distracted driving:
- Writing or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 MPH, that’s like driving the length of a football field – blindfolded.
- If you text while you’re behind the wheel, you’re 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-distracted driver.
- Talking on a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity devoted to driving by 37%.
- 45 states and the District of Columbia ban text messaging for all drivers.
- 14 states and the District of Columbia prohibit hand-held cell phone use by all drivers.
- Young people are especially at risk: In 2011, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
“Highway safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said America’s Road Team Captain Henry Bruster with UPS Freight, Woodville, Miss. “If we all devote more attention to the task of driving and less to our phones, it goes a long way to making sure everyone finishes their trip safely.”