Distracted Driving Increases Your Risk of Crashing

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.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text 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.

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

How you can be an engaged driver from the Agency of Transportation

Take steps to avoid distracted driving behaviors before you even start your journey—whether that’s a quick trip to the store or a long road trip.

  • Put your cell phone away, out of sight and out of reach;

  • Program your phone to send auto-responses letting friends/family know you are driving and not able to answer the phone;

  • Stay focused on your driving and what’s ahead of you;

  • Be aware of other motorists around you;

  • Pre-program your GPS, or plan your route before leaving;

  • Choose your podcast or playlist ahead of time;

  • Eat your snacks before leaving the house, or take a break during a long journey to have a meal.

Learn more about how to be safe on the roads at the resources below.

Vermont resources
  • Turn-Off Texting Demonstration Program with the Youth Safety Council of Vermont: Raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving by putting students behind the wheel of an advanced driving simulator to navigate a course while texting. It’s a unique, memorable and effective experience for participants, and the demonstration is provided free of charge in Vermont through a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and support from generous sponsors.

  • Distracted Driving Enforcement Laws: The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles provides information about Vermont enforcement laws to reduce distracted driving.

  • Drive Well Vermont from the Agency of Transportation: Distracted driving resources and information.

  • 2021 Distracted Driving Survey from the Agency of Transporation: Vermont’s texting and driving law went into effect in 2010, while a hand-held ban was added in 2014. Preusser Research Group, Inc. conducted Vermont’s inaugural round of distracted driving observations during select dates in October 2021.

Last Updated: