Distracted Driving/Seat belt Safety : Fast Facts


Distracted driving is something we are all guilty of, but it is a behavior that we can change. Make the cognitive choice to put your phone down and buckle your seat belt when getting behind the wheel. It is not worth the possibility of losing your life or taking another's just because you want to respond to a text. Be smart, make the right decision, and don't drive distracted.

- Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
- Young adults (age 18-24) are less likely to wear seat belts than those in older age groups.
Rear-seat motor vehicle passengers are less likely than front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt, 10 making them more likely to injure themselves and drivers or other passengers in a crash.   (cdc.gov seat belt) (cdc.gov dd)

- Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for people ages 16 to 24.
- More than 3,800 young drivers are killed every year in traffic crashes.   (oksafety.org)

- 3,450 Distraction-related deaths in 2016. 
- 481,000 passenger vehicles were driven by people using handheld cell
phones at a typical daylight moment in 2016.
- Among drivers involved in crashes the 16-to-24 age group had a 4% increase from 2015 to 2016.
- Seat belts saved an estimated 14,668 lives and could have saved an additional 2,456 people if they had been wearing seat belts.
- 48% of passengers killed in car crashes that were not wearing seat belts.  (NHTSA.gov) (NHTSA DD Research Notes) (NHTSA.gov seat belt) (NHTSA.gov SB Research Notes

- Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, not buckling up can result in being thrown from the vehicle in a crash, which could result in death.

- More than 90 percent of teens and adults say they’d stop texting while driving – if someone in the car just asked.

- Sending or reading a text can take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that can be similar to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

- In 47 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, texting while driving is an illegal ticketable offense. 

Types of Distraction

  • Manual Anything that takes your hands off the wheel 
  • Visual Taking your eyes off the road
  • Cognitive Taking your mind off driving

Texting while driving causes all three.

You Can Help: Take the Oklahoma Challenge Today!

Links for YOUR Distracted Driving campaign. 

National Safety Council:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations campaigns: 

Stop Texts, Stop Wrecks:

About the Oklahoma Challenge

The Oklahoma Challenge was created in 1984 to address the dangers of teen drunk driving and encourage young drivers to wear their seat belts. Following great success in these areas, Oklahoma Challenge turned its attention to a rising concern - the dire problem of distracted driving, especially among people 15-20 years-old. Working in partnership with the Oklahoma student groups, the Oklahoma Challenge has endeavored to educate teens about the dangers of engaging in distracting activities - such as texting, talking on the phone and applying make-up - while driving. From the beginning, the Oklahoma Challenge has been unique from other initiatives in that it empowers student leaders to go back to their schools and put on the awareness activities themselves – teen to teen. By focusing on peer-to-peer communications instead of an adult-driven campaign, the messages about the dangers of distracted driving are more likely to make a lasting impact. In fact, research shows 44 percent of teen drivers say that they would be thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving,