Distracted Driving

Everyday, lives are claimed and severe injuries are recorded from car crashes involving distracted driving.

Increased rate of death and injury from distracted driving

The NY Times published last April 5, 2013 a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which revealed the following significant and disturbing findings about distracted driving:

  • 48 percent answered their cell phones while driving at least some of the time
  • 58 percent said they continued to drive after picking up the phone
  • 14 percent said they still text or e-mail while driving. 

Also, the AAA Newsroom published a report in January 25, 2013 from the President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Mr. Peter Kissinger, himself. He said:

“Ninety percent of respondents believe that distracted driving is a somewhat or much bigger problem today than it was three years ago, yet they themselves continue to engage in the same activities. More work clearly is needed to educate motorists on the risks associated with using a cell phone while driving, especially given that most Americans believe this problem is becoming worse.” 

In the US, distracted driving is responsible for the death of many pedestrians, drivers, and passengers, especially the youth.

    • In 2008, 23,059 accidents involving 16-19 year olds lead to 194 deaths and 10% were reported to be caused by distracted driving.
    • Over 3,000 deaths and 416,000 injuries each year are caused by distracted driving
    • In 2010, 1 in 5 crashes or 18% of injuries involved distracted driving
    • In 2011, distracted driving has caused 3,331 deaths as compared to 3,267 in 2010.
    • Injury to 387,000 people was also recorded from distracted drivers in 2011 as compared to 416,000 people injured in 2010

Don’t text and drive

There are many ways to be distracted from driving. When you take your eyes off the road, take your hands off the wheel or take your mind off driving.

Using a cell phone, texting and eating while driving distract a driver from driving. Sometimes in-vehicle applications like navigation systems can also be a source of distraction.

The most dangerous distraction is texting while driving because it combines all types of distractions.

Sixty-nine percent of drivers whose ages range from 18-64 reported that they use cellphone while driving. A survey revealed that they talked on their cell phone while driving. In Europe, this ranged from 21% distracted driving in UK to 59% in Portugal.

Drivers with ages 18-64 reported that they read or send texts or emails while driving. Among the drivers surveyed, this is 31% of the US drivers, 15% in Spain and 31% in Portugal.

Legislators in many countries have been actively enacting laws to promote awareness on the risks of distracted driving such as banning texting while driving and improving licensing systems for teenage drivers.

Answering calls while driving can distract you from driving, too. Here’s a latest story on Sarah Durazza’s fatal crash when she answered a phone call from her boyfriend.