The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that up to 30 percent of the 3 million accidents a year may be attributable to distracted driving, USA Today reports.
The issue of distracted drivers in recent years has focused on the use of cell phones. New York became the first state to ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving in 2001. New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have passed similar bans that take effect in July.
Drivers have been documented eating, reading, shaving, primping, e-mailing, watching videos, changing CDs. And all those activities divert attention from the road.
The reason for all the multitasking is simple. Drivers are spending more time on the road – an average of 300 hours in 2002, according to the Texas Transportation Institute – and they want that time to be productive.