Once nearly all the adults in America had purchased cellphones, it quickly became apparent that these convenient devices are often hazardous when motor vehicle operators use them when behind the wheel. Distracted driving has been a problem since automobiles were invented. But this issue escalated significantly with the advent of mobile electronic technology.
Just over a decade ago, every state in the nation started enacting legislation to combat the scourge of distracted driving. States specifically targeted distracted driving challenges caused by the hands-on use of mobile electronic technology behind the wheel.
Given how much media attention has been paid to the dangers of distracted driving, one would hope that the American people would have become far more cautious in the 10+ years since this issue became an urgent public safety hazard. Unfortunately, distracted driving crashes continue to claim thousands of lives and cause a staggering number of injuries each and every year.
Why is it still an issue?
Although states have taken significant steps to curb distracted driving, enforcement remains a significant challenge. Most drivers who utilize their phones in unlawful ways behind the wheel aren’t cited for this behavior because it is difficult for law enforcement officers to catch.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frequently points out that texting while driving is so distracting that it can justifiably be compared to driving “the length of a football field with your eyes closed.” Yet, until motor vehicle operators commit to putting their phones down, the lives of all road travelers will remain at risk.
Although widespread awareness of how dangerous distracted driving is hasn’t eliminated the problem, awareness on a micro level can be life-changing. If you drive, take steps to ensure that you operate your vehicle safely. Many people find that leaving their phone in the trunk while driving successfully removes temptation. You may still end up the victim of a distracted driving accident, but at least you won’t cause one.