You’ve heard of DUI and DWI, but have you ever heard of DWD? That’s “driving while distracted” and it often happens because of these . . . Cell Phones. Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah) The No.1 source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. (Virginia Tech/NHTSA) Drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 10 percent of drivers aged 16 to 24 years old are on their phone at any one time. Driving while distracted is a factor in 25 percent of police reported crashes. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent (Carnegie Mellon)
Jennifer Smith wants to be that leader. Just last fall her mother, Linda, was killed by a driver who was on his cell phone at the time. Smith says she looked for a grief counseling group to join, something like MADD. When she didn't find one, she realized that she was the right person to start it. Her brand-new group is called Focus Driven: Advocates for Cell-Free Driving.
"My mom's story was the perfect example," she says. "It was such a cut-and-dried case. [The driver] was on the phone for less than a minute. He was only driving for a quarter of a mile. He just didn't see the light