What comes to your mind when you think about distracted driving?
Do you picture somebody checking their phone while on the road? Doing their makeup in the visor mirror? Or maybe searching for something they’ve dropped on the floor?
These are all accurate examples of distracted driving, but there are a surprising number of other ways that qualify as driving distracted. This is important, as about nine people die in the US each day due to distracted driving.
With a number of laws against the practice varying from state to state, it pays to know what distracted driving really is, how it can affect you, and what consequences it can have.
Follow along to learn some distracted driving statistics that will shed some light on what it is and how to avoid it.
What Qualifies As Distracted Driving?
Before we get into the statistics, let’s make clear what distracted driving really is.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This may include texting, drinking a coffee, adjusting the radio, or even having engaged conversation with passengers.
The top ten driving distractions are:
- Phones – whether talking or texting, cell phones are one of the driving distractions responsible for the most car accidents
- People, things, or events outside the car, such as billboards or car wrecks
- Passengers in the vehicle, especially children
- Reaching for objects in the vehicle
- Eating or drinking
- Interacting with the dashboard, such as the radio or navigation system
- Adjusting or looking into the mirrors while driving
- Lighting a cigarette
- Getting distracted by something outside the car, such as animals
Avoiding these distractions while driving can minimize one of the causes of the most fatal car accidents in the country.
5 Distracted Driving Statistics
- Thirty-fivepercent of teen drivers admit to texting while driving.
This is concerning for a number of reasons. First, a full 94% of teens believe that the practice is dangerous, so some of those who acknowledge that fact do it anyway. Second, it’s likely that the actual statistic is higher.
It is particularly important for teens to be cautious. They are 4 times as likely to get into an accident due to distracted driving, and 21% of fatal accidents involving teens resulted from it.
- Reaching for an object can multiply the risk of getting into an accident by eight.
It can take less than 3 seconds for an accident to occur once a driver is distracted. Reaching for an object on the floor or a seat can easily occupy your attention for this long.
- Senior drivers are more distracted by “infotainment” systems than younger ones.
On average, interacting with systems such as navigation screens or dashboard media distracts senior drivers for up to 8 seconds longer than young drivers.
- Over half of all drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving.
This takes drivers’ hands off the wheel and their attention off the road. This leaves them 3.6 times more likely to experience an automobile accident.
- In some states, distracted driving citations can increase insurance rates by over 800%.
Not only does avoiding distracted driving keep you safe, but it can also save you a lot of money.
Focus On The Road Ahead
Distracted driving is more than using your phone on the road. There are countless other distractions, and anytime your attention drifts from what you’re doing, you are running a serious risk. Focusing on the road while driving is crucial