Distracted driving – A matter we cannot ignore.

https://www.lucascole.comIn October 2017 both Oregon and Washington state strengthened laws to make talking on a cell phone and texting while driving illegal.

Distracted driving is when a driver is paying attention to something not related to driving that makes the driver use their eyes, ears, or hands. According to www.oregon.gov there are four types of driver distractions[1] ;

 

Visual – looking at something other than the road – an accident on the side of the road
Auditory – hearing something not related to driving – a conversation in the back seat
Manual – handling something other than the steering wheel – your phone or your lunch
Cognitive – thinking about something other than driving. – an argument with a spouse or coworker

Clearly, lots of things qualify as a distraction when operating a motor vehicle. Texting and cell phones have been the major targets of enforcement and legislation and the statistics tell us why.

Distracted driving resulted in 10,814 crashes in Oregon from 2012 – 2016. 1,040 crashes were confirmed to have involved the driver using a cell phone. In those accidents, 19 people lost their lives. Teens accounted for 100 of those 1,040 crashes.

In February of last year, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission posted a survey result showing that cell phone use was the greatest cause of distracted driving.[2]  The article states that 1 in 10 Washington drivers operate a vehicle while distracted.

Look at the Pew Research Center Mobile Fact Sheet.[3]  This backs up what we already know. 95% of Americans own a cell phone. 77% own a smartphone. This is compared with 35% in 2011. Our technology is taking off at exponential rates and won’t slow down.

The study goes on to say that 100% of Americans from 18-29 years of age own a cell phone. Given the wide age range of that demographic, a safe bet and a summary of the searches I performed indicate that 75 – 85% of teens ranging 14-18 have cell phones. They are also, many of them, learning to drive for the first time.

How do we get teens to adopt safe driving principles? First, we must set the example. Next, we have to talk to them. Then we need to monitor those behaviors.

Many insurance companies have come out with safe driving applications. Farmers is the latest. They debuted signal in Oregon earlier this month. It provides an upfront discount and another potential discount at the next renewal. The point of this application is to help limit distracted drivers and driving habits that can lead to more accidents.

Visit https://www.farmers.com/signal/ to learn more about this app and how it can help protect your children and save you money at the same time.

Call me today at 971.303.8508 and I can help you develop a plan to prevent your teen from becoming another statistic.

You can also visit our website at https://www.lucascole.com

[1] http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Safety/Pages/Distracted.aspx
[2] http://wtsc.wa.gov/News/new-statewide-survey-shows-cell-phone-use-greatest-cause-of-distracted-driving/
[3] http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

photos courtesy of unsplash.com

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