FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 17, 2017) - Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of operating a motor vehicle. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. Some of these distractions include:

• Texting
• Eating and drinking
• Grooming/applying makeup
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Unrestrained children
• Unrestrained pets
• Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player
• Talking cellphone or to passengers

According to FocusDriven, up to 80 percent of all crashes involve some form of driver distraction. In recent years, texting and driving has received much of the attention. This is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages or emails or making similar use of the web on a mobile phone or device while operating a motor vehicle. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all military personnel, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and family members about its dangers. Put down the phone and other distractions when you are behind the wheel. It can mean the difference between life and death. Together, we can help save lives.

FYI - See what your organization is saying about driving behaviors and hazards. The Army Readiness Assessment Program is web-based program that is quick and easy. The ARAP assessments are confidential, may be predictive and users are anonymous. In fiscal 2016, there were 153,780 ARAP respondents. Of those, 24,852 (16.2 percent) mentioned "drive" or "driving" in their response to the question: The most hazardous things I do is/are … Some of the ARAP free-text responses range from:

• Driving after getting off duty (staff-duty/CQ) (782 = 3.2%)
• Convoy operations (752 = 3.1%)
• Driving while fatigued (747 = 3.0%)
• Driving and texting/cellphone use (654 = 2.6%)
• Driving long distances (458 = 1.8%)
• Driving long hours (429 = 1.7%)
• Driving and drinking and/or speeding (368 = 1.5%)