Is That a Chihuahua in Your Lap?

November 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm 1 comment

Twice in the same week I have been driving in a major metro area during rush hour and followed people who had small dogs in their laps.  Which got me wondering whether that is more or less distracting than using a mobile device while behind the wheel.  So I did a little research.

The most common “distracted driving” activities are:

  • Texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Grooming
  • Using GPS
  • Adjusting sound system
  • Using a mobile phone
  • Talking to passengers
  • Reading
  • Watching video

(no mention was made of lap dogs)

Here are some disturbing statistics:

  • In 2010, 3,092 people were killed – and 416,000 injured – in distracted driving crashes.
  •  Texting while driving increases crash risk 23 times.
  •  Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. That’s like driving 100 yards at 55 mph – blind.
  •  Using a phone while driving reduces your necessary brain activity by 37%
  •  25% of US drivers regularly use a phone while driving.  That increases to 75% in the 18 to 29 age group.
  •  9% of drivers regularly text while driving. 52% of drivers 18 to 29 text while driving

Many states are enacting hands-free laws, but that hasn’t been shown to reduce risks compared to hand-held use of mobile devices.  So what is the answer?  My recommendation:  leave the chihuahua at home.


Center for Disease Control

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1 Comment

  • 1. EcoGrrl  |  November 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    My personal favorite ultra distracted moment? (Not driving as I pay no attention anymore as a cyclist/pedestrian) Guy riding bicycle on Rosa Parks with kid in the bike trailer, while talking on his cell phone AND smoking a cigarette. ugh.

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