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Distracted Driving & Texting

Driving deserves your undivided attention

Despite laws to prevent distracted driving, too many motorists still talk and text on cell phones while behind the wheel. They eat a meal. They rummage for things on the seats, floor, dashboard or other compartments. They even stare intently in the rearview mirror to comb their hair or apply make-up. Because they’re not paying attention to traffic conditions and road hazards, distracted drivers drastically increase their risks of causing a crash or failing to avoid one.

While texting and driving is a leading cause of distraction behind the wheel, distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.
There are three main types of distraction:

  1. Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  2. Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  3. Cognitive – taking your mind off driving

Many distractions involve all three types of distraction, but all it takes is one. The typical distraction requires the driver to take their attention off driving for less than 5 seconds. If a driver is going 55 miles per hour and gets distracted for less than 5 seconds, they’ve traveled the length of an entire football field (that’s over 100 yards) without paying attention!

Distracted driving is dangerous to novice and expert drivers alike. 1 in 5 crashes involve distracted driving. In 2015, there were 24,089 car crashes related to distracted driving in Wisconsin. That means, there is a distracted driving crash happening somewhere in Wisconsin every 22 minutes.

Driving is a privilege, and it’s important to not get distracted in order to help keep you, your passengers, and others on the road safe. Follow these few tips and help us achieve zero deaths on Wisconsin roads:

  • Commit to driving safely and distraction-free, no matter what
  • Turn off your phone, or download an app to prevent incoming and outgoing messages, calls, and notifications while driving; some even send an auto-response back to let people know you’re on the road
  • Enlist the help of your passengers to avoid distraction
  • Speak up as a passenger if you witness distracted driving
  • Pull over safely if you need to address any distraction while driving
  • Plan ahead: eat, groom, primp, and organize before OR after your drive to avoid any unforeseen distraction
  • Get your loved ones on board: sign a pledge together and hold each other accountable for keeping your focus on driving whenever you’re behind the wheel

For additional information regarding the risks associated with distracted driving, visit www.Distraction.gov.

Learn more about distractions while driving.

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Estimates indicate that drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.

Learn more about the dangers of distracted driving.