In the United States, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Approximately, nine people are killed every day in a distracted driving accident. In 2018 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. It’s safe to say, distracted driving is a serious problem among drivers, especially with the increased use of cell phones. But what are the most common distractions?
- Cell Phone Use
- Using Controls Inside the Car
- Other Passengers
- Adjusting Audio or Climate Controls
Cell phone use is the most common and one of the deadliest causes of car accidents, however, simple distractions like eating and drinking are also just as dangerous, especially while driving at high speeds. Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds while going 55mph or higher, could distract you for the length of a football field. This means you are not watching the road for 100 yards. Looking back at other passengers, changing the volume, and using other controls in your car could take at least five seconds of your attention, putting yourself and others in danger.
Fatal Car Accidents Involving Cellphone Use
Cellphone use has become one of the biggest distractions for drivers of all ages, however, some groups are involved in more cell phone caused accidents than others. According to statistics collected by the NHTSA, the age group with the highest percentage of reported cell phone involved in a fatal car crash are those between the ages of 20 to 29. At least 34% were using their cellphone when they crashed into another vehicle. Meanwhile, 30 to 39 year-olds had the second-highest percent of cellphone usage involving a fatal car accident.
The third age group with the highest percentage are teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19, meanwhile, those 70 and older are involved in the least amount of fatal accidents involving cell phone use. In just one year the NHTSA reports that 354 car accidents resulted in deaths because of cell phone use. They also estimate that around 33,000 people are injured in car crashes involving cell phone use or other cell phone-related activities
According to the Houston personal injury attorneys at Ramsey Law Group, many people injured in distracted driving accidents, where there is a clear negligent party, can’t afford to pay for medical expenses, and insurance companies do their best to give the victim the least amount of compensation for their injuries. That’s why many people end up suing for damages, and depending on the case, it could take years before the victims receive compensation for their injuries.
The main prevention tactic that many states across the U.S. are taking to stop distracted driving are cell phone laws, including texting. However, that is not stopping the problem completely, especially because people use their cell phones for other things, like directions, or music. Here are a few ways you can prepare to avoid getting distracted on the road.
- Use Cell Phone Holders – Make sure you have a place to put your cell phone that is within your reach, and easy for you to access without looking away from the road. Having your phone in your pocket, or purse, and trying to access it while driving could create a major distraction.
- Prep Before Driving – Put your music on, start map directions, and secure your cell phone. Doing this before starting your drive will help you prevent doing it while on the road.
- Avoid Being in a Hurry – When we are in a hurry, we tend to start taking part in distracting actions while driving. That includes putting make-up on, eating, drinking, using cell phones, and on top of all that, speeding which does not help.