Distracted Driving

On average, approximately nine people are killed and over 1,000 injured due to distracted driving in the United States. When someone drives distracted, drivers, passengers and pedestrians are all at risk of injury or death.

There are three different kinds of distraction that impact your ability to focus, especially while driving:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

Distractions like snacking while driving, changing the radio station and talking to a passenger can combine more than one of these types of distractions. Texting while driving involves all three types of distractions – a deadly combination.

Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving

Keep yourself from getting distracted while driving by doing the following.

  • Turn your phone off, set the volume to silent or turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode to avoid the temptation to check texts and other notifications.
  • Get ready before you begin driving: program your navigation, adjust your temperature and music settings, and contact anyone who needs to know you are traveling.
  • Eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while you are driving. When you refuel your car, refuel yourself before getting back behind the wheel.
  • Give yourself more time to travel to avoid multitasking while driving.


As the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the state, we see the life-changing injuries that result from crashes caused by distracted driving. We also see the families who never get to bring their loved ones home. Our mission is to prevent needless loss and suffering brought about by distracted driving. That’s why the University of Vermont Medical Center and the Clinical Simulation Lab at the Larner College of Medicine created TXT U L8R, a program designed for teen drivers and their parents that brings to life the reality and consequences of distracted driving.

TXT U L8R includes:

  • A demonstration on a texting and driving simulator
  • A live simulation of a trauma scenario
  • A testimonial from a survivor who was hit by a distracted teen driver
  • A presentation by Text Less, Live More

TXT U L8R hosted as part of the HealthSource Series. To find out when the next session is being hosted, contact us at InjuryPreventionatUVMHealth [dot] org (InjuryPrevention[at]UVMHealth[dot]org).

Distracted Driving Resources