Distracted driving is a deadly behavior. Federal estimates suggest that distraction contributes to 5,000 deaths annually and it contributes to between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes every day in the U.S.
Distracted driving happens anytime you take your hands off of the wheel, take your eyes off of the road or take your mind off of driving. Anything that takes your attention away from the road for two seconds or longer increases the risk of accident from 4 to 24 times. Statistics show that the country’s youngest and most inexperienced drivers are the most at risk.
- It’s estimated that 1 in 4 crashes involves cell phone use. Calls and texts can wait.
- 16% of all distracted driving crashes involve a driver under age 20.
- At any given moment during daylight hours more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- 18% of injury crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
Driver distractions cause crashes, injuries and deaths. In 2004, the District of Columbia enacted laws to restrict mobile phone use while driving. Here’s what you need to know:
- It is illegal for motorists to use a mobile phone or other electronic device while driving in the District of Columbia, unless the telephone or device is equipped with a hands-free accessory.
- “Other electronic device” includes hand-held computers, pagers, PDAs, and video games.
- Individuals with a learner’s permit and school bus drivers are prohibited from using any mobile phone or other electronic device, even if it has a hands-free accessory, unless they are placing an emergency call.
- The penalty for violating the law is $100. There are no points imposed on violators.