Multitasking can be great in the office, and if you have a company cellphone you may feel like you are required to be on-call 24/7. There is one time when you should ignore that work call, however, and that is when you are driving. This is because distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey and across the U.S.
Distracted driving: the statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2019 alone, distraction played a role in 15% of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. That same year 3,142 individuals lost their lives in collisions involving a distracted driver. Moreover, in 2019, 566 non-occupants (such as pedestrians and bicyclists) lost their lives in collisions involving a distracted driver. Some common distractions include chatting with a passenger, adjusting the temperature controls, tuning the radio and, of course, using a cellphone.
Texting and driving is especially dangerous
Texting and driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three major forms of distractions. When you are texting your eyes are on your phone not the road, which is a visual distraction. Texting means your hands are on your phone not the steering wheel, which is a manual distraction. Finally, when you are reading a text message and thinking of a reply your mind is on the text message not the task of driving, which is a cognitive distraction. Given this, it is easy to understand why texting and driving is so dangerous.
Avoid using a cellphone while driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when a motorist is using a cellphone, they are failing to see as much as 50% of the area around them even if they are looking forward. Instead, their “field of view” encompasses only what is directly in front of them. This means they could miss seeing traffic signs and stoplights, pedestrians or other vehicles. Ultimately, even if you are given a company cellphone, turn it off while driving. This can help you avoid distracted driving and could potentially prevent a serious motor vehicle accident from occurring.