During this week where Indiana and Illinois police are going to be actively targeting teen drivers and young adults behind the wheel for distracted driving violations (see our previous post for details), and in conjunction with April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, here are 10 facts about driving while distracted that might be surprising.
10 Surprising Facts About Distracted Driving in Illinois and Indiana
Hey, Hoosiers and Illinoisans, did you know:
1. Distracted Driving is more than texting or talking on a cell phone. It can also involve things like:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.
2. 27% of those drivers that die in accidents caused by distracted driving are in their 20s.
3. Even though it’s only 5 SECONDS on average that you take your eyes off the road while texting, it’s the speed you’re driving that counts: do it while you’re going 55 mph and you’ve had your eyes off the road and out of control of your car for the length of a football field.
4. It’s NOT TRUE that headsets are safer than holding your phone in your hand while you talk and drive.
5. 20% of teenagers admit that they still have long text conversations while driving (several text messages back and forth).
6. Texting while driving is considered to be very dangerous because it requires the driver not only to look away from the road but to also use his or her hands as well as their thought processes on something other than driving their vehicle (texting involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction).
7. The federal government cannot pass laws that ban distracted driving, that is up to each state to decide.
8. In Indiana, there is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for drivers under the age of 18 and a ban on texting for all drivers.
9, In Illinois, there is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for drivers under the age of 19 and a ban on texting for all drivers. No driver is allowed handheld cell phone use.
10. In Illinois, bus drivers are banned from driving buses and using a cell phone (handheld or hands-free). Illinois also bans the use of any cellphones by drivers in a school zone or a highway construction zone. Indiana does not have laws like this regarding bus drivers, school zones, or construction zones.
Be careful out there, everyone!