Distracted driving remains a serious problem with life or death consequences, as the following texting and driving statistics suggest:
According to the National Safety Council, use of cell phones while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes in the United States annually. What’s more, a minimum of 200,000 vehicle crashes occur each year due to texting specifically.
American roadways have more distracted drivers than ever before. Many drivers don’t understand how risky multitasking while operating a vehicle is. Read on for distracted driving facts that could save your life.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving has serious, even deadly, consequences; yet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 660,000 drivers on American roadways drive distracted at any given time.
In 2016, 3,450 people died as a result of distracted drivers. In fact, the NHTSA also estimates that 94 percent of major accidents result from human error. Distracted driving comprises a huge chunk of these incidents.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Which activities constitute distracted driving? While we tend to focus on the most common and deadly culprits—cell phone usage and texting—other distractions cause accidents, too. These include:
- Listening to loud music
- Rubbernecking at accident scenes
- Negotiating with kids
- Having a dog on your lap
- Using Bluetooth or hands-free technology
- Drinking and eating behind the wheel
- Putting on makeup
- Other types of multitasking
What do all of these activities have in common? They impair your ability to react quickly. Some even make it physically difficult to drive. They all distract you.
When driving, seconds can make the difference between an accident and a close call. You need your full attention on the road, and you need both hands on the steering wheel.
Texting and Driving Statistics
Five seconds represent the minimum amount of time it takes to text while driving. How far can you travel in 5 seconds? If you’re going 55 mph, you can drive the whole length of a football field before ever glancing up from your phone.
That is, unless you run into a bicyclist, pedestrian, car, motorcyclist, or semi-truck first.
Get the picture?
Let’s couple this risky behavior with inexperienced drivers. Forty-three percent of teen drivers confess to texting while driving.
Texting increases their chances of a car accident more than 23 times. The impairment of distraction is visible. Teen texters spend about 10 percent of their driving time outside of their lane.
Distracted driving—in all of its forms—comes with dangerous consequences. When you eat a sandwich in the car, take one hand from the steering wheel to take a drink of coffee, or give in to the temptation of sending even an emoji, you risk injury and even death.
In a matter of seconds, a car accident can alter the course of your life and the lives of those around you. It can lead to lengthy recovery time, permanent injuries, disfigurement, costly lawsuits, and even premature death.
Have you or someone you know been involved in a distracted driving accident? At Kastl Law, P.C., we specialize in helping clients get the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.