Title

Driven to Distraction

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Today’s drivers are bombarded with distractions, and distracted drivers impact hundreds of lives across the state each year. Whether it’s answering a cell phone, adjusting the radio, controlling screaming children or eating some food, doing multiple tasks while driving has become normal. As part of a documentary project with Montana PBS, this presentation will focus on the emerging quantitative data of accidents caused by distracted drivers. This is a relatively new phenomenon, and researchers are just now noticing and publishing statistics and trends.

It’s unknown how many people are affected by accidents caused by distracted driving, but law enforcement officials say the numbers are higher than traditionally reported, partially because it’s difficult to determine distraction as the main cause of an accident, especially a fatal one. Law enforcement officials and medical examiners have told me that distracted driving causes a high percentage of accidents. I’ve spoken with admittedly distracted drivers; victims of accidents and their families, law enforcement and drivers’ education program coordinators, and all agree that distracted drivers cause a problem on Montana’s roads.

The American cultural need to always be connected and productive fuels the problem, encouraging people to work, text, and network while driving. Numbers from sociological experts continue to emerge, as this phenomenon took off within the last ten years.

The documentary portion will focus on individual, character-driven stories. For my presentation, I explored the statistics and numbers created by taking these, among other stories, as part of a collective whole.

Category

Humanities

 
Apr 11th, 10:00 AM Apr 11th, 10:20 AM

Driven to Distraction

Today’s drivers are bombarded with distractions, and distracted drivers impact hundreds of lives across the state each year. Whether it’s answering a cell phone, adjusting the radio, controlling screaming children or eating some food, doing multiple tasks while driving has become normal. As part of a documentary project with Montana PBS, this presentation will focus on the emerging quantitative data of accidents caused by distracted drivers. This is a relatively new phenomenon, and researchers are just now noticing and publishing statistics and trends.

It’s unknown how many people are affected by accidents caused by distracted driving, but law enforcement officials say the numbers are higher than traditionally reported, partially because it’s difficult to determine distraction as the main cause of an accident, especially a fatal one. Law enforcement officials and medical examiners have told me that distracted driving causes a high percentage of accidents. I’ve spoken with admittedly distracted drivers; victims of accidents and their families, law enforcement and drivers’ education program coordinators, and all agree that distracted drivers cause a problem on Montana’s roads.

The American cultural need to always be connected and productive fuels the problem, encouraging people to work, text, and network while driving. Numbers from sociological experts continue to emerge, as this phenomenon took off within the last ten years.

The documentary portion will focus on individual, character-driven stories. For my presentation, I explored the statistics and numbers created by taking these, among other stories, as part of a collective whole.