Have you ever been driving and abruptly realized you couldn’t remember the last few minutes of your journey? Or maybe you’ve been guilty of texting, checking your phone, or scrolling through your playlist while driving, only to look up and discover yourself veering out of your lane? Distracted driving is a huge issue on today’s highways and can have serious repercussions. “You’re Driving Me Crazy!: 101 Dangerous, Inappropriate, Discourteous, Illegal, and Just Plain Stupid Driving Habits!” by John Reinhardt highlights the harmful driving behaviors that we sometimes ignore, as well as the consequences of such activities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving cost the lives of 2,841 people in 2018. This suggests that a distracted driver was involved in 9% of all fatal crashes that year. While numerous elements contribute to distracted driving, Reinhardt’s book focuses on the habits drivers establish over time that might lead to unsafe driving behavior.
Distracted driving has far-reaching and devastating repercussions. It’s not simply that you’re putting yourself in danger; you’re also endangering the lives of those around you. We’ll look at the dangers of distracted driving in this blog post and how Reinhardt’s book can help you avoid these behaviors and stay safe on the road. So strap in, and let’s go.
Distracted Driving Components
Distracted driving is defined as driving while distracted in any way. While cellphone use is often involved, distracted driving also includes eating, reading, drinking, talking to other passengers, looking around, adjusting location devices, adjusting the radio, and any other activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the task of driving. While any of these activities may be included, texting and driving are often regarded as the most hazardous sort of distracted driving because they cause the most types of distraction.
Some forms of distracted driving are primarily visual. These activities divert the driver’s attention away from the road. Others are manual, which involve the driver taking their hands off the wheel. Another form of distracted driving pertains to cognitive activities. This entails the driver’s attention being diverted from the task at hand.
Seriousness of Distracted Driving
Many lawmakers recognize the dangers of distracted driving. When a driver is not looking, has their hands off the wheel, or is mentally focused on something other than driving, then the chances of being involved in a crash increase significantly.
According to research, people texting or talking on their cellphones while driving are equally impaired as drunk drivers. Hands-free and hand-held cellphone use result in roughly the same level of impairment. Distracted drivers sometimes lose seconds of response time that they would have had if they had not been distracted, potentially causing them to have an accident when they could have prevented it or crash at a higher speed than they would have if they had not been distracted.
Being distracted while driving can have catastrophic and life-changing repercussions. Potential consequences include:
Being Involved in an Accident
Distracted driving is far more likely to involve an accident than non-distracted driving. Distracted drivers are also more likely to be involved in major accidents. This means they could be hurt or perhaps killed. They could potentially hurt or kill other drivers and passengers.
Several states specifically prohibit distracted driving. Some states outright prohibit cellphone use while driving, while others authorize using a hands-free phone. Texting and driving, too, is prohibited in many states.
If a person is found using a cellphone while driving or indulging in other illegal forms of distracted driving, they may face severe penalties. Even if they reside in a state that does not expressly prohibit the behavior that produced the distraction, they may still be penalized for additional offenses caused by their distracted driving, such as crossing the center line, driving at erratic speeds, or similar behavior.
Lost Driving Privileges
A person’s driving privileges may be suspended or revoked if they accumulate too many points on their driving record.
To summarize, distracted driving is one of the most dangerous driving habits highlighted in John Reinhardt’s driving lession book, The repercussions of distracted driving can be severe and far-reaching, affecting not only the driver but also passengers, pedestrians, and other road users. They can lead to accidents, injuries, fatalities, and legal and financial consequences.
Drivers need to be mindful of the risks of distracted driving and take the necessary steps to avoid them. This includes avoiding using cellphones, navigation systems, and other electronic devices while driving and refraining from eating, drinking, grooming, or engaging in other distracting activities. By staying attentive on the road and being aware of potential hazards, drivers can help prevent accidents and keep themselves and others safe.