Distracted Driving-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, April 15, 2013

Distracted Driving

The National Safety Council estimates that 1 in 4 crashes involve cell phone use while driving and that this number may even be low. Each April, the Council observes Distracted Driving Awareness Month to remember the lives that have been tragically lost, but also to bring national attention to the issue of cell phone distracted driving.

The focus of this year's campaign - What were you thinking? - is on cognitive distraction, or the distraction to the brain from a cell phone conversation. Many people have a false sense of security that hands-free devices are safer - but no research indicates it provides a safety benefit, as the distraction to the brain remains. The unfortunate truth is that your brain can miss seeing up to 50% of your driving environment when you are talking on a cell phone. This could be a stop sign, a traffic light or even a pedestrian.
Join the National Safety Council this April in urging those you care about to:
•    Stop using cell phones while driving
•    Understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain
•    Inform people who call you while driving that you'd be happy to continue the conversation once they have reached their destination
•    Tell others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving

Join us in telling others about the dangers of cognitive distraction this April, and take the pledge to drive cell free at nsc.org/ddmonth.  Remember, no one's phone conversation is worth a life. 
From information furnished by the National Safety Council

By: Jim Gindlesperger, jg57@andrew.cmu.edu, 412-268-3760