5 Facts About Distracted Driving
You’ve likely heard the term “distracted driving,” and if you’ve ever driven with kids or held a phone conversation while behind the wheel, you might have even engaged in the practice. Distracted driving currently represents one of the most significant threats on the road.
Understanding the risks and characteristics associated with distracted driving can help you make better decisions for yourself and encourage other drivers to do the same. In this blog, we discuss five facts about distracted driving.
1. Distracted Driving Becomes Dangerous More Quickly Than You Think
You may honk at a driver who you see using a cell phone, but when you’re the one using a phone behind the wheel, it’s harder to keep your behavior in perspective. It’s easy to dismiss any threat posed by glancing at your phone or changing your radio settings. After all, these tasks only take a couple seconds.
However, it only takes a few seconds for an accident to occur. For example, studies show that the average texter takes his or her gaze off the road for five seconds to read or compose a message. At 55 mph, you cover the length of football field every five seconds, so a texting driver has plenty of time to drift into or hit obstacles within that distance.
2. Distracted Driving Causes Thousands of Accidents Each Year
Distracted driving accounts for thousands of accidents each year, including a significant amount of fatalities. Data shows that in 2014, more than 3,000 people lost their lives and another 400,000 people were injured due to the actions of distracted drivers.
3. Distracted Driving Means More Than Just Texting
When you picture distracted driving, you probably picture someone texting. Texting and other handheld electronic device usage represent some of the newest and most pervasive distractions for drivers, but they’re far from the only kind.
Distractions can be manual, visual, or cognitive. For example, reaching out to grab a snack reduces your manual ability to operate your car, turning to check on a pet in the back takes your eyes off the road, and thinking about a recent fight may make you less focused.
Performing any activity that distracts you for long enough to create a hazardous situation qualifies as distracted driving.
4. Most Drivers Engage in Unsafe Behaviors at One Time or Another
Unfortunately, most drivers report engaging in some distracted driving behaviors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 660,000 Americans are using their phones while driving at any given time throughout daylight hours.
A poll conducted by HealthDay revealed that across all age categories, almost 90% of drivers eat or drink behind the wheel, almost 40% have texted while driving at least once, and more than 40% of drivers have changed a GPS while operating their car. The poll also showed that many drivers perform grooming tasks, use printed maps, or browse the Internet while driving.
5. Washington Prohibits Many Distracted Driving Behaviors
To reduce the risks associated with distracted driving, many states have implemented laws limiting cell phone usage. In Washington, the law prohibits using handheld cellphones except under specific circumstances, such as operating an authorized emergency response vehicle.
Avoid distracted driving to dramatically decrease your risk of an automotive accident. Remember, responsible driving protects you, your passengers, and other drivers, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and roadside workers.
If you were recently involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact Robert Kornfeld, Often, distracted drivers are legally at fault for the injuries and property damage caused by their negligence. Robert can help you get the compensation that you need to recover from the incident.