Driver distractions: don't be a statistic

  • Published
  • By Regina Coffey
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Driving is a serious responsibility that demands and deserves your full attention. Driver distractions may occur anytime or anywhere. 

Distractions contribute to one out of four accidents. This means there are 4,300 accidents every day resulting in 1.5 million accidents a year. 

A California Highway Patrol study found that the leading factors causing distracted driving accidents are cell phone use, attending to children and eating. 

Cell phone use represents the greatest factor in causing distractions while driving. While it is hard to imagine life without a cell phone, you increase the risk of having an accident by 400 percent. 

Doing other tasks while talking on the cell phone, such as note taking or searching for something, also increases your risk of having an accident. On Edwards, cell phone use while driving is prohibited without using a hands-free device. If you are on the freeway, take the next exit and park in a safe location before you use your cell phone. 

Eating while driving is not only messy but also dangerous. It usually involves driving with one hand and juggling your food or beverage with the other. Leave a little early to allow yourself time to stop for a bite to eat. Pull over to a safe location and enjoy your meal. 

Take driving seriously. It not only affects you but also your passengers and other drivers. Follow the rules, and always be safe. Plan ahead, and think everything over. 

Don't be another statistic.