Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Distracted Driving: It's NOT Worth It!

Next Monday in Calabasas, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol will be hold a press conference on the dangers of distracted driving. We’ll have more on that next week, but in the meantime, check out these sobering stats:

> In 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured. That’s about 15 deaths every day.

> Among those killed or injured in these crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injuries included cell phone use as the major distraction.

> The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of a fatal crash has increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.

Distracted driving isn’t just cell phone use. It also includes things like texting, eating, putting on makeup, and messing with your navigation system — all of which can result in a serious accident, and in California, a serious fine. Clearly, distracted driving isn’t worth it. The call can wait. Lunch can wait. Mascara can wait. And if you need to adjust your navigation system, pull over and stop.

Why do our driving skills deteriorate so much when we do something else at the same time? You can read more about how the brain becomes overtaxed in this study, or just take our word for it: You’re a pretty crummy driver when you’re distracted. Science says so! (And so do the casualty stats.)