Distracted driving

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By Seth Bendigo, Missouri Breaks Summer Intern

Every day in the United States nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. An auto accident can happen so quickly... for example a driver who is going fifty-five miles per hour, sending or reading a text will take their eyes off the road for about five seconds, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field. The three main types of distractions when driving are: visual/eyes off the road; manual/hands off the wheel; and cognitive/taking mind off of driving.

Because of the dangerous consequences of distracted driving I decided to design and carry out a windshield survey assessment as part of my summer intern experience that looked at the number of drivers who smoked in their vehicles and/ or used a cell phone to text or talk in the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte area. Vehicles with a smoking driver were also looked at to see if children were present and if other adults were in the vehicle. This survey was conducted by observing cars in five different locations around the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte area, for four days, spending one hour at each location per day resulting in a total of twenty hours of observation.


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