Passengers are just as distracting as e-devices

Many drivers understand that e-devices in cars are distracting and may also be deadly. However, according to studies done by the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) talking to passengers in the vehicle is another major risk factor.

Figures just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than eight people are killed daily and an estimated 1,161 are injured due to distracted driving.

The CDC lists three main categories of driving distractions:

  • taking eyes off the road (visual)
  • taking hands off the wheel (manual)
  • taking the mind off of driving (cognitive)

The three categories listed by the CDC only list e-device usage. Despite the fact that the NHTSA rates using cellphones while driving a serious risk, they rank as the top distraction talking to passengers in the vehicle.

The NHTSA’s recent study showed nearly 57 percent of drivers distracted by an activity while driving were talking to passengers. While it may be easy to understand that texting and driving causes accidents, many drivers do not consider conversations to be in the same category. The NSC agrees and also extends their opinion to include hands-free devices.

Want to get to your destination and home safely? Do not text and drive and reduce the amount of conversation inside the vehicle as well. Your life, and the lives of your passengers may depend on it.

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