Drivers throughout Illinois run the risk of lapsing into dangerous driving habits and behaviors on the road.
Distracted driving falls among these behaviors, and it can cause significant harm.
What are the dangers of distracted driving?
Distracted driving is one of the most potentially lethal dangerous driving behaviors that a driver can engage in. Distractions can affect all three areas paramount to safe driving: hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on the task at hand. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it combines all three of these categories, but distracted driving can occur even if the driver is simply talking to a passenger or adjusting the radio.
When driving distracted, people become less capable of noticing or reacting to dangers that appear before them on the road. Their reflexes slow down, meaning even if they spot a situation, they may not be able to avoid it. So, they may, for example, ram into cars stopped ahead of them because they did not notice the brake lights in time to stop.
Who is at risk?
All demographics of drivers are at risk for distracted driving behaviors, but teens are more likely to drive distracted than other age brackets, according to some studies. This may be due in large part to the fact that younger generations are more likely to use electronics.
Not only that, other teens in the vehicle may not realize how important it is for them to suggest the driver puts his or her phone away while behind the wheel. They may not realize the danger to everyone in the vehicle and to people nearby, accepting the behavior as normal. Unfortunately, this can cost them their lives.
For this reason, many campaigns focusing on raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving are now aiming primarily at younger generations, who may need the most guidance.