Whether you've been driving for 30 years or 30 days, you cannot drive safely unless driving has your full attention. Any activity other than driving like playing with car controls, eating, applying makeup (you've seen that, right?) is a potential distraction which increases your risk of having or causing an accident.
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does yet not penalize distracted driving with the same number of points as a major violation. But some insurance companies are starting to. And, many more are following suit.
- In 2017, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,166 people (8.5% of all fatalities).(1)
- Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.(2)
- Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.(3)
- In 2015, 42% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days reported sending a text or email while driving.(4)
(1) National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, October). 2016 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 456). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812456)
(2) National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Distracted Driving: 2015 in Traffic Safety Research
(3) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. [cited 2016 Feb 23] Available from: http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html
(4) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance- United States, 2015. 2016.