NHTSA Kicks Off Campaign to Stop Distracted Driving Car Accidents

Texting while driving is a serious concern on the roadways of Texas and across the nation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cited distracted driving as a greater risk than driving under the influence, injuring more than half a million young adults each year.

Distracted driving includes texting, making Facebook status updates and checking email. It also includes more mundane behaviors, like fiddling with the radio and eating. Doing these things divide your attention, leaving you vulnerable to accidents caused by unexpected changes in traffic or road conditions.

Folks in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas may have seen ads for the recent NHTSA campaign called "Stop the texts. Stop the wrecks." And classes across the nation are helping drive similar messages home to young drivers.

In Maryland, for instance, an exhibit for high-school students put them behind the wheel of a Nintendo Wii driving simulation with the popular Mario Kart video game as they attempt to drive and text at the same time. The experience proved eye-opening for many students, who may have not been fully aware of the risks of distracted driving.

Understanding the Three Types of Distracted Driving

The Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving recognizes three types of distraction:

1. Manual distraction involves a driver taking his or her hands off of the wheel. This is common when searching for items in a car, reaching for a beverage, or changing the radio station.

2. Visual distraction arises whenever a driver takes his or her eyes off the road. Sending or receiving text messages, looking at images, or attempting to make eye contact during a discussion with passengers are all forms of visual distraction.

3. Cognitive distraction occurs whenever the driver's mind wanders and is not focused on the task at hand.

You can experience all three forms of distraction at the same time, showing just how important it is to remain aware of the danger every time you pick up your mobile phone while behind the wheel.

Because every time you pick up your phone to send or read a text, is another moment waiting for a serious car accident to happen.

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