Many of us don't think twice about looking at the phone while driving, but even taking your eyes off the road for a second can be deadly. And texting or calling isn't the only type of driver distraction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three types of driver distractions:
A recent study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety focused on the effect of momentary distractions on a driver's performance. Distracted driving is becoming a major problem on today's roads due to the constant presence of smartphones, GPS systems and DVD players inside the vehicle. Looking away for a mere two seconds at 70 miles per hour causes a driver to miss approximately 200 feet of road.
North Carolina drivers might be interested to learn that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for 18 percent of the country's motor vehicle accidents in 2010. Altogether, distracted drivers were to blame for accidents that killed 3,092 people and injured 416,000 more, reportedly.
The law can be slow to catch up to modern technology. For example, it is against the law to text and drive in North Carolina. The law was passed in 2009, and does not specifically prohibit accessing social media like Facebook or Twitter on your mobile device. However, the statute does ban any typing on a cellphone to communicate with others, so some social media activity may be covered.