New Hampshire Teen Driver Program

Distracted Driving

In 2020, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in the United States.1 According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.1

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system-anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.2

There are three main types of distractions:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road.2
    spaceo Consulting a map or GPS device
    spaceo Staring at a roadside crash, major attractions, billboards or pedestrians
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.2
    spaceo Eating or drinking
    spaceo Adjusting car settings
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off driving.2
    spaceo Talking to passengers
    spaceo Talking on cell phones

Examples of distracted driving activities include:

6 out of 10 teen crashes involve driver distraction

Examples of distracted driving activities include:

  • Talking or texting on your phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to people in your vehicle
  • Fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system
  • Anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving

Texting is the most alarming distraction. When sending or reading a text it takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

download/view device law

Let that Sink In!

The Length of a Footbal Field


Did You Know?

Effective on July 1, 2015 New Hampshire has a Hands Free Electronic Device Law. This law prohibits the use of electronic devices while driving or temporarily halted in traffic for a stop sign or traffic signal or other momentary delays.1

Penalties for violation of the
Hands Free Electronic Device Law:
  • 1st Offense: $100 fine
  • 2nd Offense: $250 fine
  • 3rd Offense: $500 fine
texting dangers

Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving

  1. Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.4
  2. Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.4
  3. Make adjustments before your get underway, Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road.Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.4
  4. Finish dressing and personal grooming at home—before you get on the road.4
  5. Snack smart. If possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while driving. On the road, avoid messy foods that can be difficult to manage.4
  6. Secure pets before getting underway. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.4
  7. Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving- handheld or hands-free. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.4
  8. If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus safely on driving.4
  9. If another activity demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before heading out.4
  10. As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.4

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention.1 Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.1

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