According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving causes the deaths of nearly 10 people per day in the U.S. overall. Over 1,153 drivers and passengers are injured in similar collisions. Indeed, more than 15% of collisions that resulted in injuries across the country involved distracted driving.
Although these statistics are for automobile crashes, distracted driving can, clearly, also affect the safety of operating another type of vehicle, such as a truck or a motorcycle.
What is distracted driving? Researchers define it as driving that takes place while the drivers are involved in another activity that shifts their attention from operating a vehicle. Observers point to three primary kinds of distracted driving. The first is visual, taking your eyes off the road. Visual distraction can encompass activities such as using a cell phone or texting, which are frequently (and justifiably) targeted as culprits, but it can also include rubber-necking at the scene of an accident or turning around to check on children or items in a back seat. The second type of distracted driving is manual, and involves taking your hands off the wheel. Eating, programming a GPS, or engaging with a passenger, as well as cell phones and texting, could be involved here. The third kind of distracted driving is termed cognitive. In this type, hands and eyes are engaged with the vehicle correctly, but the driver has taken his or her mind off the task at hand.
The reason that many states have banned cell phone use and/or texting while driving is that it can easily involve a combination of these types.