Driver distraction -- in its many forms -- is a factor in nearly one in four injury crashes and one in six fatal crashes. And many of these forms of distraction are deliberate; that is, we decide to remove ourselves from the driving task to do something else, such as make a cellphone call. So what does it say about our culture when we deliberately distract ourselves from the goal of driving safely to instead send a text or make a phone call?
Every time we drive, we fail to realize the significance that a split second error in decision making or a slow reaction time can result in serious injuries, permanent disabilities and/or loss of life. "Not me, I'm a good driver with no tickets or crashes. It happens to all those other bad drivers on the road," is commonly said or thought by most drivers. It is that thinking that minimizes our own careless and negligent behavior behind the wheel.
Despite a sharp increase in awareness of the distracted driving problem, we're not seeing a significant change in drivers' behavior. Why not? And, what will it take to turn this problem around? Why did another campaign -- the designated-driver campaign against drunk driving -- succeed? And what's different about the distracted-driving problem?