Distracted driving continues to be in the top four reasons for fatal collisions. Speeding, drinking and not wearing seat belts round out the other causes that take approximately 40,000 lives every year.
The increased use of smartphones over the last several years has caused accidents from distracted driving to rise. With things like Facebook, other social media apps and texting, this is a relatively new type of distracted driving that needs to be addressed.
Below are some sobering statistics from the the End Distracted Driving website. (these are 2015 statistics).
- 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015 (data not yet available for 2017) (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration- NHTSA)
- 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected. NHTSA . (The NSC estimates that cell phone related crashes alone accounted for 27% of 2015 car crashes – let alone other distractions)
- In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers NHTSA
- The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over (IIHS), with driver distraction responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes AAA Foundation
As shown above in the last point, distracted driving is a huge killer for teens.
Three types of Distractions
Traffic safety experts put driver distraction into three separate categories:
1. Manual Distraction– This is where a driver’s hands are physically taken off the steering wheel.
2. Visual Distraction– This is where your eyes are focused elsewhere and not on the road.
3. Cognitive Distraction– This occurs when your mind wanders away from your focus of driving.
Texting while driving involves all three of these types of distraction and can increase the risk of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.
Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving causes impairment similar to having a blood alcohol limit of 0.08%—the legal limit for intoxication in many states.
What You Can Do To Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents
- Make a conscious effort to always put your phone down where you can’t see the face of it when driving. This helps to avoid the temptation of looking at it. Muting or turning it off is a good idea also.
- Point out to your friend, if you’re in the car with them when they’re driving distracted— either talking or texting—that you’re not comfortable riding with them when they’re on their phone. Offer to text for them as an alternative.
- If you’re a parent, start talking to your children before they begin driving about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Be a role model and don’t do what you tell you’re children not to do. Our children learn from us—both good and bad behaviors—so make sure you’re “walking your talk” when it comes to distracted driving.
As technology continues to grow and change, there are more options and temptations from cell phones to take our attention off the road. Using common sense and simply turning your phone off or putting it in the console or someplace else where you can’t see is the easiest and simplest way to avoid distracted driving collisions.
We here at Orlando Auto Body support any initiative that helps to cut down and eventually eliminate distracted driving accident. And as always, if you’re in a collision of any kind, call us here at (480) 844-4858 and we’ll take care of you. From working with your insurance company to restoring your vehicle to it’s pre-accident condition, we pride ourselves on your complete satisfaction.