While cell phones are receiving all the “attention” when it comes to distracted driving, statistics show that there is a bigger component contributing to the fatal act of driving distracted, and that is one’s mind.
Erie Insurance engaged in a study that analyzed a nationwide census of fatal crashes in the years of 2010 and 2011. They found that driving distractions accounted for approximately one of every ten fatal car accidents, with a majority of those being because the driver was “lost in thought” or “generally distracted”. This state of mind, more familiarly known as “daydreaming”, accounted for more than 60% of the distractions people experienced before they were involved in a fatal car accident.
With day dreaming being far and away the leading cause, this study also looked into the other contributing types of distracted driving and their percentages. The list is as follows:
1. Generally distracted or “lost in thought” (daydreaming) – 62% 2. Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting) – 12 % 3. Outside person, object or event, such as “rubbernecking” – 7% 4. Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in the car) – 5%
2. Using or reaching for device brought into vehicle, such as navigational device, headphones – 2%
3. Eating or drinking – 2%
4. Adjusting audio or climate controls – 2% 8. Using other device/controls integral to vehicle, such as adjusting rear view mirrors, seats, or using OEM navigation system – 1% 9. Moving object in vehicle, such as pet or insect – 1% 10. Smoking-related (includes smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in ashtray) – 1%
Cell phones are still the second largest contributing danger, making attempts to limit their use while driving as prevalent as ever. While Erie Insurance urges drivers to make a more conscious effort to stay focused while driving, they also offer advice specific to the growing complication cell phones present to drivers by asking motorist to let incoming calls go to voice mail, ask drivers you may be talking to who are driving to hang up, or if absolutely necessary, pull over to text or talk.
It is the duty of parents and other adults to set an example for the youth, who are becoming more invested in their cell phones each year. However, with more drivers hitting the road that are accustomed to constantly checking their phone, the problem will likely not cease to exist any time soon.
If you or loved one has felt the effects of such negligence, then the best way to move forward is with an effective personal injury by your side. The difference in attorneys can be the difference between a lifetime of medical bills or their quick payment and healthy recovery.