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Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. Distracted driving is becoming increasingly common and dangerous, causing traffic crashes and fatalities. In 2014, there were 100,825 traffic crashes in Texas that involved distracted driving (distraction, driver inattention or cell phone use). That is an increase of 6 percent from 2013. These crashes in 2014 resulted in 3,214 serious injuries and 468 deaths. In fact, nearly one in five crashes in Texas involves driver distraction.
Cell phone use while driving is the No. 1 distraction behind the wheel.
Talking on a cell phone while driving makes you almost four times more likely to crash, and texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times.
What's the Problem?
In addition to taking their eyes and hands off the wheel, distracted drivers take their mind off the primary task of driving. Drivers talking on cell phones miss half of the information in their driving environment.
Drivers using cell phones are less likely to see:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that employers in Texas spend $4.3 billion every year as a result of on- and off-the-job traffic injuries. In recent years, numerous plaintiffs have filed and won multimillion-dollar actions against employers for injuries arising from negligent driving of an employee who was distracted by the use of a cell phone.
What Employers Can Do
Implement a Cell Phone Ban
A corporate cell phone ban might ask employees to:
A project of the National Safety Council in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation.