For Tennessee drivers, distractions on the road can lead to serious consequences. Activities that cause drivers to become distracted fall into three non-discrete categories: manual, visual and cognitive. Manually distracting activities include smoking, eating and drinking. Examples of visual distractions include making phone calls and using other technology. Cognitive distractions can be as simple as engaging in conversations with passengers to driving under the influence. Cellphone use, including texting, involves all three types of distractions, which makes it particularly dangerous.
A 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of the U.S. and seven European countries compared percentages of use of cellphones for calls, emails and texting while driving. Data analysis revealed that of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64, an estimated 69 percent reported driving while talking on their cellphone, and 31 percent reported texting while driving during the 30 days previous to the survey. This number was more than their European counterparts.