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Distracted Driving

Hands-free is not risk free!

About 26% of all car crashes involve cell phones -- including hands-free calls. Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving. Join the National Safety Council in urging those you care about to understand the dangers of distracted driving. Learn more from the National Safety Council.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that could take a person’s attention away from the main task of driving:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming (make-up, shaving, brushing hair)
  • Reading, including maps/using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a music player

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the same as driving at 55 mph, the length of an entire football field.

Start Smart Classes

The California Highway Patrol’s Start Smart program is a driver safety education class that targets new and future licensed teenage drivers between the age of 15 - 19, their parents, and guardians. CHP officers discuss traffic collision avoidance techniques, collision causational factors, driver/parent responsibilities, seatbelt usage, etc.

Testimonies are provided by officers who have investigated fatal collisions involving teens. The CHP offers the Start Smart program to help newly and future licensed teen drivers become more aware of the responsibilities that accompany the privilege of being a licensed California driver.

If you would like to attend, please call the Santa Barbara Area CHP office to sign up at: (805) 967-1234. This class is free and about an hour and a half long.