In the US, 9 people are killed every day by distracted driving. In Maryland alone, there are 53,000 distracted driving crashes every year resulting in 28,874 people injured: 80 injured every day and 232 people killed. And 84% of these accidents occur in the Baltimore-DC area — so pay attention Annapolis and Anne Arundel! We’re back to school and Evolve Medical would like to remind everyone to be safe. Please read and share this 5 minute quick read.
46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning texting and driving–including Maryland. The issue isn’t just talking and texting anymore. Drivers are on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Maps, Spotify, Waze, and now Pokemon Go. And don’t
forget applying make up, eating, and “look at this mommy” distractions.
A National Safety Council-sponsored study of 2,400 drivers of all ages revealed 74% would use Facebook while driving, and 37% would use Twitter, with YouTube (35%) and Instagram (33%) close behind.
A 2016 study showed that 70% of teens say they use apps while driving and 49 percent of adults admit to texting and driving, even though 98 percent of adults say they know the practice is unsafe.
5 Quick Stats
- 341,000: Number of crashes in 2013 related to distracted driving.
- 2 Seconds: Amount of time a driver can safely look away from the road while driving.
- 5 Seconds: Amount of time it takes to glance at a text message.
- 100 yards: That’s how far you travel in 5 seconds.
- 4 Times: Your risk of having an accident is increased 4 times when you pick up a cell phone.
It is important to remember that the cell phone, although one of the major distractions, is not the only distraction in the car. According to the Maryland MVA, driver distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
“The temptation is real but it truly happens fast. In the time it takes to read a ‘quick’ text, your car has traveled the distance of a football field.” — Dr. Michael Freedman of Evolve Medical Clinics.
And if you aren’t convinced or motivated, watch this 15 second public service announcement on YouTube.
11 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Turn it off and stow it. Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car. Then stow it away so that it’s out of reach.
- Spread the word! (Share this article with friends, family and teens)
- Record a message on your phone that tells callers you’re driving.
- Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over.
- Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call or respond to a text for you.
- X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. Even voice-to-text isn’t risk-free.
- Know the law.
- If using a GPS device, enter your destination before you start to drive.
- Secure your pets. Unsecured pets can be a big distraction in the car.
- Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children in the car. Focus on driving.
- Refrain from eating, drinking, reading, grooming, smoking, and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.