Cellphone use causing car accidents in North Carolina

Distracted driving is a very dangerous behavior and officials say that more than 50,000 drivers in North Carolina are injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving every year.

There are many different types of distracted driving, but texting while driving has become so dangerous that the state now prohibits texting behind the wheel. Safety advocates say that the ban is a step in the right direction to prevent distracted driving car accidents but more work needs to be done to raise awareness to the many different ways a driver can become distracted behind the wheel.

Distracted driving accidents caused by cellphone use have gained a lot of attention in North Carolina. State reports show that distracted driving caused by drivers using a cellphone or other electronic device contributed to 904 car accidents last year, causing two fatalities and 276 injuries.

Cellphone use plays a big role in distracted driving accidents in North Carolina, which is why safety advocates want all cellphone use prohibited for drivers, not just texting. Research shows that talking or dialing on a cellphone takes the driver's attention off the road and onto the conversation, increasing the chances of being in a car crash.

To address the safety issues, the North Carolina Department of Transportation launched the campaign "'Zombies' Hang Up the Phone, Pay Attention to the Road," to alert the public about the dangers of cellphone use while driving. The NCDOT said that distracted driving accidents can be prevented and are asking drivers to stop trying to multi-task behind the wheel and instead focus on driving safely.

Safety advocates also want drivers to be aware of the other ways they may become distracted while driving. Common types of distractions include changing the radio, talking to passengers, eating and reaching for something on the floor. Drivers need to be aware of the many different ways they may become distracted and unsafe behind the wheel to prevent an accident that could cause injuries to themself and others on the road.


Source: News-Herald, "Distracted driving isn't all about phone use," Stephanie Carroll Carson, April 17, 2013

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