From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Distracted driving, a replacement phrase for the more popular terms "texting while driving" and "talking while driving," is what occurs when a driver has something other than driving on his mind. Driving becomes subsequent in importance to another activity that is happening inside the car, truck or cycle while the vehicle is in motion.
According to Peter H. Appel administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Obama administration's point person on transportation technologies, distracted driving has grown exponentially as a problem tied to rapidly evolving technology developments. Technologies as a source of driver distraction according to RITA include: cell phones, PDAs, mp3 players, video players, guidance systems, driver/operator information systems, and devices that allow texting, e-mailing and other communications.RITA is also looking to new technologies which can enhance transportation safety and reduce distracted driving via a program called the Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge.
New York Times writer Matt Richtel won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for a series on distracted driving.
A poll conducted in October 2010 found that 93 percent of American drivers engage in distracted driving, such as texting behind the wheel, eating behind the wheel or even kissing behind the wheel.
While texting and driving is often cited a a primary cause of distracted driving accidents, distracted driving is not limited just to using a cellphone while simultaneously operating a motor vehicle. It can also involve situations where a driver might be distracted by children or pets in the car, or by other in-car devices such as a music player or satellite navigation equipment.
Do you engage in such driving practices? Do you need to rethink your driving strategies? An everyday activity, driving can become very automatic and then taken for granted the attention we need to have while at the wheel and anything that distracts us is creating a potential accident. How irreversible is a car accident and what tragedy ensues. How avoidable are these types of accidents. Pay attention, pull over and take time. Your life depends upon it!