Drivers on Kentucky roadways want to get where they are going safely. Unfortunately, many times they look into other vehicles and see fellow drivers engaging in distracted behaviors. These include a range of actions not appropriate for someone behind the wheel of a car and many of which revolve around cellphone use. Can these behaviors have serious consequences?
Distracted driving has dire ramifications, since it can lead to accidents ranging from fender-benders to serious crashes. Unfortunately, this behavior also is the cause of many deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, in 2017 distracted driving was responsible for 3,166 lives. The NHTSA warns that if a driver is going 55 mph and takes his or her eyes off the road for just 5 seconds, it is akin to driving the length of a football field with closed eyes.
While there are many forms of distracted driving, The New York Times notes that cellphone use is the most common. This includes texting, checking email, playing games and using various apps on the phone, including programming directions into navigation software. However, there are also many other ways in which distracted driving occurs. These forms include applying makeup, eating or drinking, talking to other passengers or even just looking out at the scenery.
Inputting a destination into a navigation app requires a large amount of cognitive focus. It is imperative that drivers take care of any tasks such as checking email, sending or reading texts, or using navigation apps before they start on their journey.