There are different types of driver distractions, including: visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel) and cognitive (mind not on driving). Texting is one of the most dangerous driver distractions since it involves visual, manual and cognitive distractions. However, texting is not the only distracted driving behavior; other dangerous driving distractions include putting on makeup, tending to children in the backseat, eating, tuning the radio, checking GPS navigation and even daydreaming.
Preliminarily, in 2017, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida. That means, on average in 2017, there were 958 distracted driving crashes per week. Distracted driving crashes have increased 25 percent since 2013. Last year, these distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,000 serious bodily injuries and 200 fatalities.
April had the third highest number of distracted driving crashes in 2017, followed by March and October, respectively. Preliminarily, in 2017, drivers age 20–24 were responsible for the highest number of distracted driving crashes, followed closely by 25–29 year-olds and 15–19 year-olds. Distracted driving crashes involving electronic devices accounted for nine percent of distracted driving crashes for 20-29 year-olds and were highest of any age group.
“When a driver gets behind the wheel of a car they should focus solely on driving,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Distractions significantly lower a driver’s reaction time to effectively avoid a crash. Always keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving toArrive Alive.”
“Distracted driving is extremely risky behavior that not only puts drivers and passengers in danger, but others out on the road as well,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Focused attention on driving increases your reaction time to dangerous driving situations, helps to prevent crashes and saves lives.”