Jeff Davidson's book, Simpler Living, was Amazon Kindle #1 in its category, first quarter, 2012. Jeff is featured in the NY Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Businessweek, Fortune, Organized Executive, and Success.

Distracted Drivers are a Menace to Society

In a survey conducted by the Automobile Association of America in 2009, 35% of drivers reported feeling “less safe” than they did five years ago. How could that be? More vehicles on the road are certainly a contributing factor, but consider your own experience when getting on a major thoroughfare, particularly at rush hour.

Cars are manufactured today with dozens of safety features. Cars are better equipped, more efficient, and more powerful than ever, but when you consider distracted drivers who believe they are omnipotent in their ability to carry on extensive cell phone conversations, it’s understandable that a growing number of drivers are fearful of getting on the road.

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis found that each year cell phone distractions are the cause of 600,000 crashes, 300,000 injuries, and 3,000 deaths in the U.S. Those 600,000 crashes annually equal more than 1,600 a day in the U.S. Spread across all 50 states, that’s more than 30 crashes per day per state. The potential for any one of us to be in an accident, perhaps one that involves injury or death, rises with each passing day as more vehicles are on the road, and more people engage in multi-tasking while driving.

The Dark Side of Cell Phone Use

A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated that in any given moment throughout the U.S., 812,000 vehicles are being driven by “someone using a handheld cell phone.” An incredible 25% of drivers in a survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2010 reported that they “have spoken on phones while in heavy, fast traffic.”

This change in driver behavior is not an evolution, it is a revolution occurring in every state, every country, all day long, year in and year out. Collectively, we accommodate and now tolerate driving habits that put each of us at grave risk.

If you recognize yourself as among those who have slipped over to the dark side of questionable driving behavior, take stock of your life. What are your responsibilities as a citizen, spouse or life partner, mother, father, brother, or sister to others in your life? Who counts on you, and what would be the impact if a fatal or devastating accident befell you? What is your responsibility to others in your vehicle? To Other motorists and pedestrians?

Oh, Not Me

It’s easy to blame the others, believing that you’re a responsible driver and cell phone user. You wait until you’re on straightaways with few cars around. You won’t cause an accident… And it’s this false sense of confidence that might do you in.

In sports, research shows that athletes are most likely to sustain injuries when they are overconfident about their capabilities, and hence extend themselves in ways that their bodies aren’t prepared to handle.

Likewise overconfident, multi-tasking drivers have no qualms about repeatedly engaging in foolish behavior believing, “I haven’t had an accident so far, so what’s the problem?” Then, even when they’re in a close call, they mentally put that aside, quickly ignoring what could have happened. In minutes, they revert to their previous driving habits, believing that the fleeting incident was an anomaly and not a predictable outcome as the result of driving distracted.

In short, too many drivers on the road today do not understand the potentially fatal game they are playing. Unfortunately, their foolishness puts us all at risk.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," is a preeminent time management authority, has written 65 mainstream books, and is an electrifying professional speaker, making 886 presentations to clients such as Lockheed Martin, Eckerd, Kaiser Permanente, IBM, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Re/Max, USAA, Worthington Steel, and the World Bank. Jeff is Executive Director of the Breathing Space Institute and the author of books such as:
  • Simpler Living (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Dial It Down--Live it Up (Sourcebooks)
  • The 60 Second Innovator (Adams Media)
  • Breathing Space (CreateSpace)
  • Accomplishing Your Goals (Smart Guide Publications)
Jeff is the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues and has been widely quoted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, USA Today, Businessweek, Forbes, and Fortune. Cited by Sharing Ideas Magazine as a "Consummate Speaker," Jeff believes that career professionals today in all industries have a responsibility to achieve their own sense of work-life balance, and he supports that quest through his website

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