Most people have heard about the dangers of texting and driving. Just a few seconds of distraction can result in disaster. In the time it takes to read just one text, a car can drive the length of a football field. You’re six times more likely to crash a car by reading just one text. It’s also why so many states have banned texting and driving.

Distracted driving can mean many things

Many people equate “texting”  with distracted driving – but distracted driving is much more than that.

Distracted driving is anything that causes you to switch your attention from driving to another activity.

Examples include:

  • Reaching for your phone to play some music
  • Answering a quick email from work
  • Calling home to say you’ll be home in 15 minutes
  • Playing games (yes, like Pokemon!)
  • Scrolling through Facebook or Instagram
  • Looking at a something you see on the side of the road

Drivers distracted by any causes have been shown to be responsible for eight fatalities and cause 1,000 injuries per day!

Accidents are also widespread

More than 600,000 Americans are using their cellphones while driving every minute. Even though activities other than cellphone use can be distracted driving, cellphones themselves present multiple opportunities for distraction.

70% of drivers use their cellphones while driving!

  • 40% of drivers use social media while driving.
  • 1/4 of them are using Facebook.
  • 14%  are using Twitter or Instagram while driving.
  • 1/3 of all drivers check their email while driving.

Is checking your Facebook or Twitter feed or sending an email worth running into someone—and possibly killing them, yourself or both?

It’s not just teens

Many people think teenagers are to blame for cellphone use while driving.

It’s true that a lot of teens do this – 70% of them use cellphone apps while driving, with 74 percent using Facebook.

Some studies have found that drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 use cellphones more while driving than any other age group.

But that doesn’t mean other age groups aren’t. 53% of parents use cellphones while stopped at a red light. That increases the chance they will continue to use it once the light changes—and 41% of parents text while the car is in motion.

Distracting driving is not just texting. Any behavior that diverts your attention while driving is distracted driving.

The message is clear: Don’t drive distracted.