Distracted driving and drowsy driving are common, though both are difficult to define, measure, and sometimes observe. Both distracted and drowsy driving result in large part from lifestyle patterns and choices: they are societal issues rather than just driving and transportation system issues. For these reasons, few behavioral highway safety countermeasures have been shown to reduce distracted or drowsy driving, although a number of new countermeasures are currently being developed and evaluated.
Distracted driving has received a great deal of attention in recent years. The U.S. Department of Transportation has held two distracted driving summits in Washington DC, developed a Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving (NHTSA, 2012), and created a Web site to address this issue. If you text while you’re behind the wheel, you’re 20 times morelikely to be involved in a crash than a non-distracted driver. In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and and estimated 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
Educating Teen Drivers
In 2013, ten percent of all drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
The Florida Sheriffs Association’s Teen Driver Challenge is a unique “behind-the-wheel” training program for teen drivers ages 16-19. The program includes both classroom and hands-on instruction designed around the specific needs of teen drivers.
Learn more about the Teen Driver Challenge (Web)
The agencies and organizations listed below can provide more information on distracted and drowsy driving and links to numerous other resources.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Safety Council (Web)