Southtowne thinks you are a distracted driver…but what type are you?

Southtowne GM Superstore knows the types, do you? OK, I’ll be honest, I actually just ran by an article recently and this is basically my paraphrasing of what I took away from the piece. There are three types of distractions – visual, manual and cognitive. Taking your eyes off the road is a visual distraction. Taking your hands off the wheel is considered a manual distraction and lastly, taking your mind off what you’re doing is a cognitive distraction.

Driving distractions include cell phone usage, eating/drinking, talking to other passengers, reading, using the GPS and changing the radio. Texting while driving is by far the biggest and most dangerous distraction, though, because it involves all three types of distraction.

As I looked into it more, I found that statistics of distracted driving were quite eye-opening. Check out these statistics from

  • 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)

So my fellow Georgians, do you consider yourself a distracted driver? I do. Try thinking about these statistics the next time your in your new Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet and reach to pick up your cell phone.

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