Don't Text & Drive - | WBTV Charlotte

It is important to establish safe driving expectations with your teen. The following information, courtesy of TOYOTA WEST, is designed to help parents and teens focus on the important issues of safe driving.

What Is Distracted Driving?

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual — taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual — taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.

While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction. Other distracting activities include:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or Mp3 player.

Did You Know?

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

  • Using cell phones while driving is a very high-risk behavior with significant impact on crashes and society. More than 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies have identified the risks associated with cell phone use while driving.
  • No difference exists in the cognitive distraction between hand held and handsfree devices. (Simulator studies at the Univ. of Utah.)
  • Many businesses and organizations understand the risk and are already taking action. Among NSC members that responded to a 2009 survey, 58 percent (1,163 out of 2,004 respondents) said their organization had a cell phone policy of some kind. Of those, 70 percent said the policy did not affect productivity and 20 percent saw decreases in employee crash rates and property damage.
  • Cell phone use contributes to an estimated 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year. (Harvard Center of Risk Analysis.)
  • 80 percent of crashes are related to driver inattention. Certain activities may be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone. However, cell phone use occurs more frequently and for longer durations than other, riskier behaviors. Thus, the No. 1 source of driver inattention is cell phones. (Virginia Tech 100-car study produced for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
  • It is estimated that more than 100 million people use cell phones while driving. (CTIA – The Wireless Association reports more than 270 million cell phone subscribers.
  • The annual cost of crashes caused by cell phone use is estimated at $43 billion. (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.)
  • Talking to a passenger while driving is significantly safer than talking on a cell phone. (University of Utah study.)

Special thanks to the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina, Charlotte Office for their partnership and content contributions. 2709 Water Ridge Parkway, Suite 120 Charlotte, NC 28217 Phone: (704) 644-4200 or Alt. Phone: Fax: (704) 644-4230 E-mail: Source:

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