We all know that it’s dangerous to be distracted behind the wheel. When you take your attention away from the road, you run the risk of causing an accident that can leave you or someone else with serious injuries. With the increase in the number of smartphones, people oftentimes use their time in the car as an extension of office or personal time to text, call, or email, fully knowing the danger that they are putting themselves and others around them in when they take their eyes off the road. Some states, such as Florida, have outlawed texting and driving, and others have gone even further to outlaw handheld phones while driving in general. However, these laws may not be enough to stop drivers from continuing to use these devices.
Just how serious is the distracted driving problem? According to AAA, from 1991-2015, 982,307 people died as a result of an automobile accident and many of these accidents may have been avoided if drivers were paying closer attention.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Zendrive, which covered 3.1 million drivers on 570 million trips, we see a scary picture of some of the numbers that affect us all on the roads. To give you a better idea of the serious impact of being distracted behind the wheel, here are eight statistics that show the consequences and dangers of this type of driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- Two seconds of distracted driving can increase your chances of an accident by over 20x (Zendrive).
- During a one-hour trip, drivers on average used their phones for three and a half entire minutes (Zendrive).
- 40% of drivers admitted to texting/emailing while driving (Zendrive).
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road when you are texting, and if you are going 55mph, then you can cover the length of a football field while not even looking at the road (Zendrive).
- In 2015, 3,477 people were killed due to distracted driving, and 400,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Talking on the phone, regardless of if the phone is hands free or not, increases the chance that a driver will crash two to four times (Zendrive).
- Florida ranks number 20 out of all the states for most distracted drivers. Vermont is ranked highest, and Oregon was ranked lowest in the country (Zendrive).
- Using a phone while driving decreases your brain activity related to driving, which means that your response times to hazards on the road is slower (Zendrive).
Even though there are laws that make it illegal to text behind the wheel, and despite the fact that people know distracted driving is dangerous, the number of accidents and fatalities due to distracted driving continue to increase. Not only is it a danger to you and anyone in the car, but if you choose to be a distracted driver, you may also be negligent in putting others around you at risk of injury and possibly death due to an auto accident.
If you have been the victim of an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced auto accident attorney who may be able to help you recover financially from your losses.
Irbykirby@mcclatchy.com, K. (n.d.). We know it’s dangerous. But we do it 88 percent of the time anyway. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article145032619.html
Zendrive Research: Largest Distracted Driver Behavior Study. (2017, April). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/zd-website-assets/casestudies/Zendrive Distracted Driving study – April 2017.pdf