Each day 8-10 people are killed by distracted drivers. Each year another 400-000 to 600,000 people are injured because of distracted driving. This is three times the number of people who are injured each year by drunk drivers.
Please watch and share this important video. If you or someone you care about is a victim of a distracted driver, please reach out. We can help.
The other day I was in a large audience on Clubhouse listening to someone on a crowded stage laughing about not paying attention and running a red light while trying to moderate a Clubhouse Room. When he said this, 3-4 other people unmuted and said, while joking, that they had done similar things while driving and using the Clubhouse app (rolled through a stop sign, drifted into another lane, almost hit a pedestrian).
Listening to this reminded me about how many people are not aware of what distracted driving is and the real and tragic dangers and consequences of distracted driving. It brought me back to the early days of live streaming on Meerkat and Periscope and the challenges we faced with educating good people who were making bad decisions when it came to the dangers of live streaming while driving.
Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, I thought I’d share a bit of context about the growing problem of distracted driving not only on Clubhouse, but across social media. If you haven’t already done so, please watch the above video. Even better, share it with your family and friends.
Did you know that 4,000-6,000 people are killed each year by distracted driving?
Did you know that 400,000-600,000 people are injured each year by distracted drivers? To put this number into perspective, only about 290,000 are injured by drunk drivers.
Did you know that at any given daylight second in America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while distracted driving? (Again, that’s every single second!)
Did you know that 3-5 seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road and your mind is distracted when looking at your smartphone while driving? At 55mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING AND WHY IS IT A PROBLEM ON CLUBHOUSE?
Good question. Here’s the answer.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. There are three main types of distractions:
Visual: taking your eyes off the road (looking at your phone);
Manual: taking your hands off the wheel (tapping the “unmute” button, messaging people and inviting raised hands to the stage);
Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving (listening to and participating in conversations on Clubhouse).
Using your smartphone while on the Clubhouse app, while driving, combines all three of these dangers. It’s careless, reckless and dangerous.
Did you know that hands-free driving (this includes bluetooth and phone mounts) doesn’t eliminate these distractions. Using a bluetooth or other hands free device DOES NOT increase your safety, or the safety of others around you.
Why? Because your mind is still on the conversation. You’re not thinking about the act of driving. In fact, even after using your bluetooth or hands free device, you continue to be distracted from the act of driving up to another 27 seconds after use.
As Professor David Strayer, states in the following article, “It’s kind of comparable to trying to balance your checkbook as you’re driving down the road. No one would do that.”
Please help lead our Clubhouse communities by example. When it comes to moderating Clubhouse rooms or jumping up on stage and contributing to the conversation while driving, let’s make sure everyone is aware of how unsafe it is to use Clubhouse while driving.
What I’ll be doing is respectfully reminding anyone who’s on stage with me to please drop down to the audience until it’s safe to join the conversation. I’ll also take the opportunity to share a few of the distracted driving stats and the link to this post.
I believe that education and leading example is what will change this reckless and dangerous behavior. Over the last 9 years, I’ve watched the friends and social media influencers stop live streaming while driving and I know this can happen in our Clubhouse community too.
I’m convinced that when the right people step up on the Clubhouse platform and lead by example, awareness levels will rise and the the amount of distracted driving Clubhouse users will decrease.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Please join our community, lead by example, and remind others about the dangers of #DistractedDriving. Get sharable resources (pics, videos, statistics and more) at StopDD.todayEndDD.orgItCanWait.com and NSC.org
[May 2018 Update: Case has been resolved to client’s full satisfaction]
Our client is a victim of distracted and reckless driving.
In only a second or two, her life was turned upside down after being struck by a distracted driver. It can happen to you too.
She did nothing wrong and is an innocent victim. Here’s what happend.
As she did every night after getting home from work, our client was lawfully walking across the parking lot driveway at her townhouse complex to get the mail. When she started to cross, there were no cars.
Just before making it all the way across the driveway, a vehicle entered the parking area from the main street and approached our client from the left. Our client observed the drivers head looking down (probably at her phone but it doesn’t really matter).
What does matter is that she wasn’t being careful or watching where she was going. If she was she would have easily observed our client.In the next second or two, our client watched the vehicle approach and strike her as she turned to the side to try and avoid the collision.
I believe that whether people realize it or not, most are addicted to their smartphones and other mobile devices. Even if they wanted to, they don’t have the self-control to stop using these devices while driving.
Understanding and acknowledging that there’s an addiction is the first, of several steps, in fixing this growing safety problem. What happens next is up to all of us.
As reported by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked. Truth be told, you’re holding a modern day slot machine in your hand. Most people can’t stop using it even if they wanted to.
According to Google software engineers, every time you check your phone, you’re playing the slot machine to see, ‘What did I get?’ (likes, shares, comments…). Your mind is being hijacked while creating habits. Potentially deadly habits when you do this while driving.
I believe the other big issue people are misinformed about is the false perception that it’s safe to use a hands-free Bluetooth system while driving. It’s not. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
The evidence shows that hands-free and Bluetooth devices offer no safety benefits whatsoever. In fact, they “distract” you from the act of driving for up to 27 seconds after use. The same concept applies to the quality of your attentiveness while driving when your passengers are using their smartphones. Click here for the research
If you can’t stop yourself from using your smartphone while driving, then you’re probably addicted to your phone. Please get help before somebody is killed.
Lead by example and turn your smarthphone off before turning your car on. Learn more about the facts of distracted driving by visiting StopDD.todayEndDD.org and ItCanWait.com
Do you consider distracted driving a public safety issue? What do you do when you see someone engaged in distracted driving?
Last month I posted a survey about distracted driving. A cross-section of 46 people responded from social media, business, law and the police communities. The survey is ongoing but here are the preliminary results:
Question #1: Have you had a family member or friend harmed or killed by distracted driving?