DWD | Using Your Cell Phone and Driving
Driving while distracted, or DWD, is a problem not just for Generation TXT, but also for seniors, baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and anyone else not devoting 100 percent of their attention to their driving. This poses a serious threat to everyone on the road.
It’s become such a huge factor in automobile accidents – accounting for 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 – that the government has created a whole website of information to caution drivers. In fact, the DWD site breaks down distracted driving into three primary categories:
Cognitive – taking your mind off what you are doing
Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
Visual – taking your eyes off the road
All three of these categories or dangers can factor into a potential accident when using your cell phone and driving, whether you’re using it to talk, text, navigate or change music. And in the age of smart phones, we’re especially susceptible to answering the sometimes deadly, siren call of texts and e-mails.
Is Distracted Driving a Disease?
The DWD phenomenon has become a plague to everyone on the road…so much so, that even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has commissioned an analysis of the problem, Distracted Driving in the United States and Europe:
25 percent of drivers overall say they use their cell phones
40 percent of drivers age 18-29 say they talk on their phones regularly or “fairly often” while driving.
About 9 percent of drivers overall are texting while driving on a regular basis; but over 25 percent of drivers aged 18-29 say they text while driving regularly, or “fairly often”.
The numbers for cell phone use while driving in Europe depend on the country studied.
DWD Rates Climbing
Unfortunately, there has been a rise in DWD fatalities, from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And other government agencies are concerned as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is advising employers to be aware of the problem, and to enforce policies against using a cell phone and driving, since employers face enormous financial and legal issues when their workers text while driving company vehicles.