Distracted Driving Statistics

The words “distracted driving” is feared by more than 80% of drivers on the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  highlights reasons for this concern, stemming from the fact most drivers are doing other things beside driving half of the time.  Common ideas on distracted driving consisted mostly of only using a cell phone while driving; however, when your thoughts or your attention are not focused on driving then you are actually a distracted driver.  Besides cell phones, distracted driving also includes eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, distracted by a pet, applying make-up, looking at billboards, and looking at other cars.

The seriousness of distracted driving has continued to burden authorities. Medical responders, police authorities, and the next of kin to those who have suffered from distracted driving have a better understanding of the damages left by such driving.  Teenagers are found to be more susceptible to distracted driving. added the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The teenager’s inclination for electronic gadgets is the greatest temptation aside from their tendency to multitask.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Organization released the following distracted driving statistics in 2011:

    • Ten percent of fatal crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
    • Seventeen percent of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
    • 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and an estimated additional 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2011.
    • Of those people killed in distraction-affected crashes, 385 died in crashes in which at least one of the drivers was using a cell phone (12% of fatalities in distraction-affected crashes) at the time of the crash. Use of a cell phone includes talking/listening to a cell phone, dialing/texting a cell phone, or other cell-phone-related activities.
    • Of those injured in distraction-affected crashes, an estimated 21,000 were injured in crashes that involved the use of cell phones at the time of the crashes (5% of injured people in distraction-affected crashes).
    • Eleven percent of all drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group includes the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
    • For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.

In 2011, 495 non-occupants were killed in distraction-affected crashes. These numbers provide a stark wake-up call for parents and motorists. You can help reduce these numbers this year and in the future if you guide your teen drivers to take distracted driving seriously.

Distracted driving brings the message that you are not concerned of the consequences of this irresponsible behavior. Accidents should happen due to facts that are beyond our control.  Distracted driving usually involves a driver who should be in total control but relinquishes this control because of the trivial things they valued at that moment. A few seconds or minutes of distracted driving can bring a great change to a life. Be responsible in your driving and please do not add to the numbers.  If the court proves you are totally at-fault, there could be corresponding financial and legal repercussion.  Contact us, at Christensen & Hymas to get a free consultation if this has happened.

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