California Driver Safety Don't Get Distracted

While having the world at our fingertips through our phones allows us greater connectivity, there's one place where this is not a good thing: in our cars.
Our phones distract us at work, at home, and in our cars.  Texting is especially dangerous while driving, as it removes both your hands and your mind from the task at hand, which is safe driving.
Below you'll find the top ways drivers in California (and beyond) are distracted while driving, and the grim statistics that accompany this troubled trend that's got local, state, and federal government agencies worried about the safety of our nation's highways.

What's the Danger with Distracted Driving?

For California drivers, who spend plenty of time behind the wheel, distracted driving is a serious problem.  87% of Americans travel to work by car, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.¹  And with Californians suffering some of the longest commute times in the nation, there are a lot of drivers on the road who might be distracted at any given moment.
Distracted Driving is driving while your attention is elsewhere.  There are three types of distraction, says the CDC³:

  • Visual: your eyes are not on the road
  • Manual: your hands are not on the wheel
  • Cognitive: your mind is not on the task of driving

Hands-free cell phone accessories for talking while driving may save you from getting a ticket, but they don't eliminate distracted driving.  Talking can cause "inattention blindness", where your brain isn't processing what's right in front of you because it's busy focusing on your conversation.
Even changing the music on your car stereo is a serious form of distraction. Now imagine what texting does!  According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)4, your eyes will leave the road for an average of 5 seconds when you text.  That's way more than enough time to be involved in a crash.
Plus, texting involves all three types of distractions!

Some Grim Stats for Californians

In fact, using your phone is the number one source of driver distractions, whether it's talking or texting.  The OTS also reports that in 2013, there were over 426,000 convictions for texting and talking on cell phones.
They also reported the disturbing fact that more than half of Californians say they'd been hit or almost hit by drivers using their cell phones (61%).  Not only that, but just over half of drivers in the State reported they'd made driving mistakes because of their cell phones!

California Drivers: How to Eliminate Driving Distractions

If stats don't scare you, then maybe the $161 ticket for talking or texting while driving will.  Here's how to eliminate distracted driving from your life:

  • NEVER text while driving.  Not even once.  In fact, just turn off your phone while you drive.
  • Need to look at a map or your phone's navigation app?  Need to program your GPS?  Pull Over.
  • No reading, eating, drinking, watching videos.
  • Did something roll onto the floor?  It can stay there until you stop driving.
  • Let your passengers do the conversing while you stay focused on the road.

For more information on safe driving, check out the California DMV website. In the meantime, if you're shopping around for a good deal on car insurance in California you're already in the right place. Try our insurance comparison tool at AardvarkCompare.com and get quotes anonymously from over 30 carriers in less than 2 minutes.  You just may save yourself some cash!

Resources

  • McKenzie, Brian.  Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States: 2013.  U. S. Census.  Retrieved 6/12/2016 from  http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/files/2014/acs-32.pdf
  • Longley, Robert.  Americans Now Spend Over 100 Hours a Year Commuting. Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/censusandstatistics/a/commutetimes.htm
  • Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Distracted Driving. Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Distracted_Driving/index.html
  • Cell Phones, Texting.  It's Not Worth It.  It's Just That Simple.  Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/Distracted_Driving.asp
  • 2015 Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.ots.ca.gov/Grants/Program_Information/docs/releasetemplates/2015AprilDistractedDrivingMonthFactSheet.docx
  • Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Distracted Driving. Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Distracted_Driving/index.html
  • Cell Phones, Texting.  It's Not Worth It.  It's Just That Simple.  Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/Distracted_Driving.asp
  • 2015 Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Retrieved 6/12/2016 from http://www.ots.ca.gov/Grants/Program_Information/docs/releasetemplates/2015AprilDistractedDrivingMonthFactSheet.docx