This week, in a partnership with the Avis Budget Group, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a new campaign to help end distracted driving, Cuomo’s official website reports.
“Too many times we have seen the heartbreaking consequences of distracted driving, and with this crackdown we are once again sending the message that making calls or texting behind the wheel will not be tolerated in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge all drivers to put the device down and concentrate on the road.”
Responsible for an estimated 20% of all car accidents in the U.S. alone, distracted driving causes around 1.3 million crashes every year. Why? Consider that the minimum time required to look at a text message while driving is five seconds. At 55 mph, that five seconds can take you the length of a football field. Imagine how many things could jump into that football field while your eyes are off the road. It’s imperative to remain as safe as possible while out on the roads — especially during a road trip with kids!
While reaching for your cell phone in the car, you are 1.4 times more likely to crash. Talking on the phone puts you at 1.3 times the risk, and dialing the phone puts you at 2.8 times the risk. In comparison, texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash.
Think about it this way. At 70 mph, unimpaired, your breaking reaction time will be almost immediate. When impaired over the legal drinking limit, there is a four-foot difference in breaking reaction and desired stop. When texting and driving, that difference in attention allows for almost 70 feet of delay between your desired stop and the real thing. That means that you go 70 feet further than the point at which you should have braked.
By standing with Governor Cuomo and the Avis Budget Group, you can help to do your part and end distracted driving. Although it is already against the law, an estimated 11% of drivers are on their cell phones at any given time. Though you may feel confident enough to pilot both your cell phone and your vehicle, take the time to realize how many other people on the road will be endangered by your distraction.