We all know that distracted driving is a major issue in this country, yet we all still allow it to happen. Whether it is using our cell phones while behind the wheel or eating while heading to work in the morning, most of us have done it before. However, do you know the true dangers of driving while distracted? We take a look for you!
Distracted Driving Choices
When people think distracted driving, most people think of texting while driving. However, there are other things people can do to be distracted. Some still include using your cell phone. A survey by Consumer Reports in October 2017 found that 41 percent of drivers with smartphones said they had used their hands to text while driving. This one is crazy, as 8 percent admitted to watching a video on their phone while driving. How distracted would that make the driver?
Things Are Getting Worse
With improved technology, things keep getting worse on the roads. In 2016, traffic fatalities on U.S. roads increased to 37,461, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was a 5.6 percent increase over 2015, which came after an 8.4 percent increase over 2014.
Distracted Driving Deaths
With those traffic fatalities in mind, we look at the number of deaths from distracted driving. In 2015, 3,450 people were killed because of distracted driving. That is actually a 2.2 percent decrease from 2015, which is a good thing. However, the number of distraction-related fatalities reported in 2016 were higher than in 2011. A decline from the year before, but still an increase from five years ago.
To break it down even more, the NHTSA said that fatal distracted driving crashes that involved cell phone use increased to 14 percent (442) in 2015. This was at 12 percent (354) in 2011. Injuries resulting from distracted driving related crashes linked to cell phones increased to 8 percent (21,000) in 2015. This was at 6 percent (15,000) in 2011.
Distracted Driving Survey Results
Consumer Reports conducted a phone survey of 622 licensed drivers who own a smartphone. Of those drivers, 52 percent admitted to engaging in distracting activities while driving. What activities? Right here:
- 41% use hands to send a text.
- 37% use hands to play music on a smartphone.
- 20% use hands to access a web browser or to compose, send, or read email.
- 8% watch videos on their phone while driving.
So, who is distracted the most? It looks like men are more likely than women to engage in distracting behavior. As far as age groups go, millennials (18 to 36) and Gen Xers (37 to 52) were more likely than baby boomers to engage in distracting behavior. Despite all of that, 88% of the participants favored states having restrictions on texting while driving.
What Type Of Ban?
These participants favored restrictions on texting while driving. The survey went on to ask what type of ban should states enforce? Here are those numbers:
- 83% support a “total ban on texting while driving.”
- 66% support a “requirement that all drivers use a message that automatically responds to incoming calls or texts.”
- 36% support a “ban on texting while driving only for novice drivers.”
- 30% support a “ban on incoming texts or calls if a smartphone is present in a moving car.”
Basically, the Arrive Alive Tour simulator should be brought to every community to truly show the dangers of distracted driving!