Younger drivers and passengers — those more likely to be using smartphones — face the highest risk. The tragic consequences are piling up and impacting more of our friends and families.
As we rush through our daily lives, the temptation to eat a meal while behind the wheel can be strong. Eating, changing clothes or putting on make-up are routinely identified as the cause of accidents. While most states prohibit texting while driving, only a few have laws specifically forbidding eating and grooming. But with or without these laws, police can still determine your behavior or driving to be unsafe and pull you over because they know distracted driving can be deadly.
Some distractions or cognitive impairments occur before the driver gets in a vehicle. While not the epidemic it once was, alcohol- and/or drug-impaired drivers still causes more than 10,000 deaths per year.1
Passengers: Friends or Foes?
State laws limiting or prohibiting passengers in cars driven by young drivers affirm the risk they can pose as distractors. That is why it is important, regardless of the driver's age, for passengers to partner with drivers to reach their destination safely.
Speak up if a driver is doing anything to put you at risk. Take control of the driver's phone, radio or climate control dials and be sure the driver is attentive, focused and alert. Never let a friend drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. And always buckle up.
Take the Keep the Road Code pledge and commit to being a focused, responsible driver.