While technology has made the world better in many ways, it has also led to a higher number of automobile accidents across the United States. In short, any distraction, technology-related or not, can improve the chance of a driver being involved in an accident. Understanding the most common distractions, as well as how you can avoid them, can help you stay safe.
Important Distracted Driving Statistics
By avoiding distractions you can instantly become a safer driver. Here are a few distracted driving statistics to know:
- In 2012, approximately 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver.
- At any given daylight time in the United States, 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
- Using a cell phone while driving is a big distraction, but don’t forget others such as eating, communicating with passengers, and interacting with your vehicle (such as using a GPS system).
- Over 2.5 million are involved in a car accident each year, with distracted driving being the leading cause.
- Many experts and reporting agencies estimate that as many as 1,000 people suffer injuries daily from distracted driving car accidents.
- Distracted driving continues to be a problem as new technologies are released faster than safety features that prevent drivers from using them.
- It takes about 13 seconds to refocus your attention after looking down at your phone to check a text message or recent post.
- Some reports indicate that other distractions, like eating while driving, are just as much, if not more dangerous than using a phone.
A distracted driver has a better chance of being involved in an accident. Do yourself a favor and keep your mind on the task at hand.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
Sometimes, being aware of distracted driving causes is not enough. Taking action to avoid distractions can add another level of safety. Consider these tips for avoiding distracted driving:
- Activate all safety features: Many newer vehicles come with hands-free features that will still allow drivers to respond to text messages and phone calls.
- Place your phone in a hard-to-reach location: Avoid the temptation to grab your phone when someone calls by placing it in a hard-to-reach vehicle location.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination: Running short on time can lead drivers to complete other tasks, like eating, behind the wheel. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you don’t have to rush tasks.
- Make sure backseat passengers have everything they need: Even reaching into the backseat can be dangerous. Make sure backseat passengers are ready to go.
Safety precautions can help keep you and your passengers safe on the road. If you are injured in an accident and you believe distracted driving was the cause, it may be beneficial to reach out to a lawyer to discuss your case.