Distracted Driving Toolkit
Posted on October, 11th 2019
When you are driving down the highway at high speeds, would you think it’s a good idea to close your eyes for five seconds? Of course not; but that is the average time it takes to read or send a text and as mobile devices have become nearly universal in use, there has been many dangerous, and often deadly consequences. In the span of five seconds, a car moving at 55 miles per hour can travel the entire length of a football field. As a result, a staggering amount of traffic crashes have been linked to distracted driving, which includes the use of wireless devices while driving. The most recent statistics show:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving in 2017 alone, 8.5 percent of total fatalities for the year.
- Approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in the United States in incidents reported as involving a distracted driver, the CDC reports.
- During daylight hours across America, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving, the NHTSA reports.
- Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.
Distracted driving also includes many other actions than using your mobile phone. Anything that a driver does behind the wheel that takes their attention away from driving is included, whether it is eating and drinking, fiddling with the music or the temperature controls, or checking yourself out in the mirror. While these types of distractions can be deadly anywhere on the road, they are one of the risky driving behaviors that lead to a higher proportion of traffic fatalities on rural roads. In many urban areas drivers have a myriad of elements to call their attention back to the road, including pedestrians and cyclists, lights and crosswalks, and other vehicles. However these elements are less frequently encountered on rural roads, and furthermore, studies have shown that drivers in rural areas use their phones more often due to longer travel distances.
To help mitigate this growing crisis, the International Association of Chiefs of Police recently launched new traffic safety resources for the field. One of these resources is the Distracted Driving Toolkit, which provides various law enforcement staff from chief executives down to patrol officers with a wide array of strategies to combat Distracted Driving. The Toolkit focuses on improvements in Education and Enforcement with an assortment of infographics, a press release template, and other helpful tools that allow law enforcement to have a multifaceted approach when engaging with their communities. Furthermore, there are also materials that teach tactics that can help reduce an officer’s own distraction in patrol vehicles.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.