Statistics & Causes of Distracted Driving
Although the fatality rate of car accidents has decreased since the early 2000’s (thanks to safety features and better products), there were still 37,461 traffic-related deaths in 2016. Some of these accidents are unavoidable, but a majority of them are caused by reckless, distracted, and drowsy driving. While many people understand and identify that distracted driving is a significant health problem, others are unaware of the facts. To combat this ignorance and make the streets safer for everyone, Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer is here to help!
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is a serious matter, but many people do not realize just how devastating it can be. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted research and found that about two-thirds of young drivers from 18 to 20 (68%) were willing to answer incoming phone calls during a driving trip, and that most of this number would continue to drive despite being on the phone.
Here are some of the other surprising statistics that this research found:
- More than 60% of all drivers are willing to text and send emails while continuing to drive.
- Men are more likely than women to answer and make calls while behind the wheel.
- While 60% of drivers don’t text and drive, as a passenger, 80% wouldn’t let their text and drive. (This means 20% of people are willing to text and drive themselves, but would chastise others for doing so.)
- 50% of people believe that talking on the phone does not impact their ability to drive.
- 25% of people believe that texting does not impact their ability to drive.
There is an apparent disconnect between distracted driving statistics and people’s stated beliefs. As you can see, many people text and answer phone calls while behind the wheel; however, those who are most dangerous believe their distracted actions do not impact their ability to drive.
In essence, those who are unaware of the threat they pose to themselves and others while driving distracted are unknowingly playing with fire. Unfortunately, in this scenario ignorance is not bliss, and a failure to correctly understand the dangers of distracted driving will lead to an accident.
One group of distracted drivers are willing to text while they drive, but, as a passenger, would tell the driver to not text and drive. When studying this group, we can only conclude that people are hypocritical; they trust themselves to drive and text “responsibly,” but wouldn’t put their lives in the hands of another texter. This misplaced self-confidence is another major contributor to distracted driving accidents because, no matter how well you drive, texting while behind the wheel is driving blind. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that the average texter takes their eyes off the road for a whopping 23 seconds to complete and send a text. This translates to 23 seconds of distracted driving, or to put it aptly, 23 seconds of driving blind. Despite this, people will continue to text and drive because they believe that it isn’t a big deal.
Unsurprisingly, scientific research proves that distracted driving is a huge deal.
The Impact of Distracted Driving
When people think of dangerous behavior, driving while under the influence typically comes to mind. Although DUIs are a prominent problem in the United States, the NHTSA found that texting while driving is the equivalent of drinking four beers and getting behind the wheel. In fact, a texter is nearly 25% more likely to cause an accident than your average joe—bad news when the NHTSA has observed a recent increase in phone use while behind the wheel. Therefore, as previously mentioned, people are negating the benefits of safety features by picking up their phones when operating their vehicles.
Here are some statistics about the consequences of distracted driving:
- In 2016, 3,450 people were killed due to verifiable distracted driving (which means there are other scenarios where distracted driving caused a fatality, but the circumstances are unverifiable.)
- In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents.
- In 2015, an average of 1,071 people were injured in distracted-driving-related accidents daily.
Unfortunately, these stats will be produced year after year until people refrain from using their phones while behind the wheel. In reality, distracted driving will continue to be a significant issue until driving is fully automated (if and when that ever happens.)
Fighting for Recovery After Suffering from Distracted Driving
While we can’t stop an accident from occurring, our firm can help people financially recover from injuries caused by another’s distracted driving. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, reach out to us to talk about your incident.